Navratri organisers fail to follow permissible decibel level limits, but the noise pollution levels are lesser than during Ganeshotsav
Despite increased awareness, constant checks at various venues and a 10 pm deadline, the noise levels at prime Navratri locations in the suburbs have been found to be way above the permissible limit.
The Sunday MiD DAY team along with Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz Foundation went to locations in Malad, Ghatkopar and Borivli, which attract massive crowds each year, in a bid to record sound levels first-hand.
Sumaira Abdulali measure the decibel levels outside Ghatkopar's Police
The maximum noise level fluctuating between 71 and 87 decibels was recorded at the Police Hockey Ground in Ghatkopar. Sankalp dandiya at Goregaon sports complex (Malad), where crowds dance to the tunes of Garba queen Falguni Pathak, recorded noise of between 75 and 86 decibels. Ekta Grounds near Kora Kendra in Borivali recorded noise between 75 and 85 decibels.
As per government rules, the permissible noise limit in commercial areas during the night is 55 decibels. The limit for industrial, residential and silence zones is 65, 45 and 40 decibels.
A dandiya reveller leaves the venue. pics/Pradeep Dhivar
What is even more surprising is that despite the increase in awareness, the noise levels in 2011 are higher than what was recorded in 2005, 2008 and 2009. In 2005, the decibel levels in all three locations fluctuated between 75 and 80 decibels. In 2009, Goregaon, Ghatkopar and Borivali recorded 82, 84 and 80 dbs as compared to 86, 87 and 85 decibels this year.
Despite the rise in decibel levels, Abdulali says Navratri is no more a noisy festival. "The noise level is above the permissible level of 65 decibels, but it is way lower than compared to that during Ganesh Visarjan and Diwali."
The 10 pm deadline is a major reason for the comparatively lower noise levels, she says. "If it gets too loud or if the deadline is crossed, people from various localities file a complaint with the police. Also, the police now regularly patrol the areas."
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