Anti-noise activists have said the state government decision to allow playing of traditional musical instruments beyond midnight on immersion days was against Supreme Court directives and demanded its immediate revocation.
In a letter to Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan,convenor of anti-noise NGO Awaaz foundation Sumaira Abdulali said: A Supreme Court order dated July 17,2005,states that no one shall beat a drum or tom-tom or blow a trumpet or play any instrument or use any sound amplifier at night [between 10 pm and 6 am except during public emergencies. In a subsequent order on October 2005,norms were relaxed allowing loudspeakers for two hours beyond the 10 pm deadline on 15 days in a year.
Any time extension beyond 10 pm for instruments other than loudspeakers would be violation of directives of the Supreme Court and the Bombay High Court, the letter stated.Its clear this is a political decision because authorities know noise rules are flouted every year, said Abdulali,adding that noise levels crossed the 100 decibel mark in extended time.
Decibel levels between 10 pm and midnight during Ganesh festival last year went up to 105 (traditional instruments with loudspeakers) and 88 (traditional instruments without loudspeakers).
These are way above the specified limit. In a residential area,the limit is 45 dB and 55 dB in a commercial area.
Echoing the sentiment,environmentalist Suresh Badami said,The law is clear that the governments duty is to keep noise within limits and observe restrictions of time too.