Mumbai’s Mahim Fair noisiest in five years, loudest festival this year
Mumbai NGO Awaaz Foundation filed complaints at the Mahim police station after members of a procession used loudspeakers and drums
MUMBAI Updated: Dec 04, 2017 20:50 IST
Mahim residents said a police procession kept making loud noise till 9pm on Sunday.(HT File)
Noise levels during this year’s Mahim Fair (Mahim Dargah Urus) on Sunday were as loud as a thunderclap at 122.5 decibels (dB), making it the loudest festival this year and the loudest Mahim Fair in five years, said anti-noise activists.
Police said they booked a group of Dharavi residents as they were violating noise norms.
“On receiving complaints, we filed an FIR against the group that had come from Dharavi, issued them a notice, and confiscated their instruments. We will now submit these details in court,” said Milind Idekar, senior police inspector, Mahim police station.
The 10-day annual festival’s inaugural procession begins at Mahim police station, with officers carrying an offering of sandalwood paste, perfume, flowers, silver utensils and a silk chaddar honouring Sufi saint Makhdoom Ali Mahimi at his dargah.
NGO Awaaz Foundation filed complaints at the Mahim police station after members of a procession staged around 4.15pm at Cadell Road used loudspeakers and drums. “While decibel levels were high, the noise was stopped within 10 minutes of my complaint. It was unclear whose procession it was,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation. “I recorded noise levels at the same road around 7pm and there were no loudspeakers or drums audible,” she added.
Mahim residents said a police procession kept making loud noise till 9pm on Sunday. “After Abdulali’s complaint, the noise stopped between 6am and 7am. From 7am onwards, the police, and a few others staging a procession, used loudspeakers, drums, and banjos for a long time,” said Zafar Khan, Mahim resident.
The police, however, said they did not use loudspeakers or any musical instruments and were only singing.“We warned two other processions, which stopped playing music immediately,” said Idekar.
“A week before the fair, we told police to take precautionary measures to ensure noise levels were not breached. However, noise levels were still above 120dB,” said Farooque Dhala, a resident.
Last year, the Mahim Fair registered 117.3 dB from a police procession close to the police station. On May 24, ruling that “no breach of noise pollution norms in the city will be tolerated”, no matter what the occasion, the Bombay high court issued show-cause notices of contempt against the senior inspector of the Mahim police station, and assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Mahim division, for using loudspeakers inside the police station compound during the fair.
Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.