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At 115 dB, Sunday was the loudest visarjan in the past 5 years

As the city bid adieu to the Elephant Lord on Sunday, the city broke a record, that of being the noisiest visarjan in the last five years. According to readings taken by noise activists, the maximum noise level was 115 decibels (dB) at Dadar. 

Devotees play noisy drums and use loudspeakers as they proceed towards the visarjan points throughout the day and even late at night
Dhol Bajne Laga: Devotees play noisy drums and use loudspeakers as they proceed towards the visarjan points throughout the day and even late at night. File pic

According to the study made by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, 2010 was the noisiest since 2007 with a recording of 111 dB during the Ganesh festival. However, Sunday’s reading made by noise pollution activist Sumaira Abdulali broke all previous records.

The study stated that the noise levels showed a decreasing trend in Kolhapur, Satara, Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Aurangabad and Amravati. However, cities like Nagpur and Jalgaon showed an upward trend.

“It is sad to know that the noise levels on Sunday was the highest in the past five years. It is unfortunate that instead of decreasing the din, the levels were record-breaking. The pollution board needs to take action before the racket gets out of control and our health is affected,” said Varsha Gaikwad, a Juhu resident. According to rules, the permissible noise level during the day is 50dB in silence zones and 55dB in residential areas. However, the reading done by Abdulali clearly stated that in many areas the noise level was quite high.

“The noise levels were the highest ever at 115dB. Large plastic drums were played vigorously and loudspeakers were used freely. I have recorded noise levels at various events. This is the first occasion when I actually experienced a loss of hearing after being exposed to distressingly high and continuous noise. I witnessed infants being exposed to these same noise levels,” said Abdulali.

Max and min noise levels
2011: 49-97 dB
2010: 58-111 dB
2009: 46-105 dB
2008: 50.2-91 dB
2007: 63-102 dB

Noisy Readings
Behind Sena Bhavan: 90.2 dB - 115 dB
Near Century Bazaar: 79.3 dB
Worli Naka: 93 – 115 dB
Opera House Junction: 95 dB – 115 dB
Haji Ali immersion point: 93 – 105 dB  

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