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Mumbai records highest noise level in a decade — 123.7dB
Tuesday, 29 September 2015 - 7:45am IST | Agency: dna | From the print edition The silver lining this year, Abdulali said, was that at major locations loudspeakers were kept in check at mandaps due to Bombay High Court order, and mandaps were constructed in such a way that they blocked less of the roads.
Mumbai was at its noisiest best on the last day of Ganpati Visarjan on Sunday, with 123.7dB being the highest level recorded, also the maximum measured in the last decade. The highest recorded previously was in 2013 — 123.3dB.
"The nosiest processions reached a record high decibel level this year at Opera House. The use of firecrackers was also seen more this year than previous years, adding to the noise levels. Loudspeakers, drums and other noisy instruments were stopped exact at midnight at Girgaon Chowpatty the first time that the deadline was strictly adhered to," said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor of Awaaz Foundation.
She, however, added that a little further down the seaface, Girgaoncha Raja mandal continued to beat drums and use loudspeakers until about 12.45am.
According to her, constables on duty were unaware of any official recording of noise levels, and while the noise from mandaps was comparatively restrained this year, noise from processions exceeded the previous high, even as time limits were maintained at prominent locations.
The silver lining this year, Abdulali said, was that at major locations loudspeakers were kept in check at mandaps due to Bombay High Court order, and mandaps were constructed in such a way that they blocked less of the roads.
"However, during processions, several main and smaller roads were completely blocked and bumper-to-bumper traffic resulted in continuous honking at several locations, including SV Road, Dadar, Bandra and Khar," she added.
Dr Mahesh Bedekar, who recorded noise levels in Thane, shared, "A majority of the songs played were Bollywood item numbers. In fact, I received several phone calls from residents from different locations in Thane city, complaining about disturbance caused by loud music."
He added that extremely loud music was played opposite maternity homes, which are silence zones, despite heavy police presence, but the police also didn't tell organisers to tone it down.
"All noise levels measured on various Visarjan days will be presented to the high court, which is hearing the litigation. The next hearing is on October 9. We will, based on the reading and observations made, seek accountability of various authorities responsible for monitoring noise levels," said Bedekar, adding that a positive this year is that a lot of awareness has been created and people have come forward to complain.
Where: Opera House
Where: SV Road, opposite Juhu airport
Where: Ambedkar Road, Bandra West
108dB (drums, metal, loudspeakers)
Where: Worli Naka
107.3dB (DJ and drums)
Where: Ram Maruti Road, Thane
95-100dB (DJ, big speakers and firecrackers)
Highest over the years
GaneshotsavGanpati visarjanNoise PollutionAwaaz FoundationSumaira AbdulaliBombay High Court
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Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.