September 10, 2014 3:53:22 am
At 4 pm on Monday and at 8 am on Tuesday, sound levels from festivities, as the city bid adieu to their favourite deity during the immersion procession (visarjan) crossed permissible limits, though it was lower than last year’s high.
Students of the College of Engineering Pune (COEP), who monitored noise levels for the 13th consecutive year during the festival, said the sound created by traditional instruments dhol tasha, pakhwaj and electronic music on the last day of Ganesh festival continues to cross permissible limits. Average noise level of 96.3 decibels was recorded at al chowks on immersion day (Visarjan). Noise levels crossed 100 dB at 8 am.
Mahesh Shindikar, member of the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority and assistant professor, applied science department of COEP and his team have been monitoring noise levels at Lakshmi Road on the last day of Ganesh festival.
Noise levels have been consistently rising and while the festival was loudest in 2013 —- average reading showed levels as high as 114.4 decibels —- this year, average reading was 96.3 dB.
Volunteers Sadanand Kurukwad, Shrikant Kamble, Santosh Sukhdave, Rahul Pawar, Rashtrapal Nagrale, Vijay Mane, Ashutosh Bajad, Nitin Meshram, Krunal Jadhav, Krunal Parteti, Vaibhav Ghadavle and Sumit Khapne from the Board of Students Welfare of COEP completed sound level monitoring at 10 important crossroads along Lakshmi Road.
Readings were taken using Lutron SL 4001 audiometres every four hours and from 12 noon on Monday and ended at 8 am on Tuesday. Apart from COEP, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has been monitoring noise pollution at various cities during the Ganesh festival. According to noise pollution rules, permissible noise level during the day is 50dB in silence zones and 55dB in residential areas.
“We found noise loudest at 4 pm on September 8 and at 8 am on September 9 as both dhol tasha groups accompanied by other traditional instruments and music played by the DJ created a cacophony, the student volunteers said. Decibel levels at all ten spots including Belbaug/Samadhan, Ganpati/Kavre Cold Drinks, Limbaraj Maharaj Chowk, Kunte chowk, Umbarya Ganpati Chowk, Bhausaheb Gokhale Chowk, Shedge Vithoba Chowk, Holkar Chowk, Lokmanya Tilak Chowk and Khanduji Baba Chowk ranged between 110 and 122.4 decibels.
For the first time in 13 years, students were not allowed to record levels at Limbaraj Maharaj chowk at 4 pm. The average reading at 12 noon, when procession commenced, was 91.4 dB while average across ten crossroads at 4 pm was 101.3 dB. At 8 pm, average reading was 98.0 dB and at midnight, it was 94.0 dB.
At 4 am on September 9, the noise registered was 91.8 dB which peaked at 8 am to 101.3 dB. At 8 am on Tuesday, all chowks crossed 100 decibels, the volunteers said.
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