Despite constant campaigns informing about the dangers of loud sounds and the 10 pm deadline, this Navratri has been ear splitting. The songs blaring over loudspeakers at various Navratri mandals have led to several having sleepless nights.
“This year all the festivals have been noisy. Navratri is usually a somber affair. However, this year I have received several calls about the noise levels in their areas. The government really needs to wake up and take strict action before it goes completely haywire,” said noise activist Sumaira Abdulali.
The highest sound level recorded by Abdulali during the nine nights of frolic was 104.5 decibels (dB) at Bhandup while the lowest was 82 dB at Mulund. She added that surprisingly, despite the increase in awareness, the noise levels in 2012 were higher than in the past.
In 2009, the sound levels at Goregaon, Ghatkopar and Borivali were recorded at 82, 84 and 80 db and in 2011 it was 86, 87 and 75 db respectively.
“What I have noticed is that there is an increasing trend in the decibels recorded. This year the noise levels have far exceeded the permissible limit. We received several complaints from residents who have even made complaints to the police regarding the ear shattering sounds,” Abdulali added.
Abdulali added that even the Mulund mandal Navyuvak Mitra Mandal who was granted a special permission to host the dandiya only if it used distributed sound system — use of small intensity speakers — instead of conventional loudspeakers to ensure the effect of noise pollution was at minimal levels. “The mandal is in a silence zone area. The mandal violated the norms laid down by the High Court. The time limit was set at 10 pm and the organisers were told that they had to use headphones but yet noise could be heard.”
Abdulali told MiD DAY that the festive season this year has been exceptionally loud. Right from Gokulashtami to Navratri this year, the activist says that the noise pollution recorded at all the festivals has broken the past records. According to readings made by her, this year’s Gokulashtami broke all previous records with a recording of 173 dB. Even Ganesha festivities were the loudest this year with the maximum level being 115 dB at Dadar.
Sound not okay please
>> Kamal Sagar Society, Bhandup (East): 104.5 dB
>> Ghatkopar Police Grounds: 97 dB
>> V N Purav Marg, Chunabhatti (East): 83 dB
>> Shiv Samartha Seva Mandal Mulund (West): 97 dB
>> Dharavi: 95 dB