ON THE last day of Ganesh immersion on Sunday, the noise levels touched 123.7 decibels (dB) near Opera House, Grant Road, breaking all records of the past several years, said NGO Awaaz Foundation, which advocates against noise pollution in the city.
While most Ganesh mandals followed the Bombay High Court order to limit loudspeaker use, unless permission is taken from the local police stations, and made efforts to make traffic smoother, the procession on the last day of Ganpati celebration broke noise level records in the city, said the NGO, which recorded the noise levels Sunday.
In 2013, the maximum levels were recorded at 123.3 dB at Worli Naka, which had dropped to a maximum of 114 dB at Juhu in 2014 on Anand Chaturthi.
This year, noise level norms were flouted specially in areas around Opera House, where the use of drums, DJ, firecrackers, metal cylinders and loudspeakers led to noise levels ranging between 112 dB to 123.7 dB at 11 pm. Several processions passed from the Opera House towards Girgaum Chowpatty for the immersion of Ganesh idols.
“While the noise from mandaps was comparatively restrained this year, noise from processions exceeded the record of previous years. Time limits were maintained at prominent locations,” said Sumaria Abdulali, convenor of Awaaz Foundation.
The report, however, observed that the ‘Girgaon cha Raja’ continued to beat drums and use loudspeakers until 12.45am.
According to the norms, noise levels in silence zones cannot exceed 50 dB during the day and 40 dB after 10 pm. In residential areas, the levels are set at 55 dB during the day and 45 dB after 10 pm, while in commercial zones the levels are capped at 65 dB during the day and 55 dB after 10 pm.
While areas near hospitals are demarcated as silent zones, on Sunday, noise pollution went beyond permissible limits to 104 dB near Surya Mother and Child hospital, Santacruz, due to drums and loudspeakers.
The hospital had two neo-natal intensive care unit (NICU) admissions and three infant admissions in the general ward on Sunday.
“Noise levels are not felt inside the NICU or the operation theater, but those being brought to the hospital are exposed to noise. For infants, the high decibels can cause hearing impairment to some extent,” said Dr Bhupendra Awasthi, medical director at the hospital.In other parts of the city, the NGO recorded noise levels exceeding 85 dB.