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MPCB to monitor decibel levels during Ganesh festival in Pune, 132 sites across Maharashtra

Across the state, noise levels will be monitored at 25 sites in Mumbai, eight in Thane, and five each in Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur, among others.

Written by Anuradha Mascarenhas | Pune |
Updated: September 8, 2021 10:32:33 pm
Ganesh Idols are taken to The Pandal Ahead of Ganesh Chaturthi Festival from Parel at Lalbaug on Sunday. (Express photo by Prashant Nadkar)

The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) will monitor decibel (dB) levels during the upcoming 10-day Ganesh festival across 132 locations in the state, including 18 spots in Pune. The noise levels will be monitored on five days of the festival (September 10, 11, 14, 16 and 19) from 6 pm till midnight.

Across the state, noise levels will be monitored at 25 sites in Mumbai, eight in Thane, and five each in Navi Mumbai, Aurangabad and Nagpur, among others.

According to rules monitoring noise pollution, the permissible decibel levels during the day is 50dB in silence zones and 55 dB in residential areas. Though the Ganesh festival beginning September 10 is expected to be a low-key affair with large processions banned, the Board will monitor noise levels across various locations in the city.

The state government has advised that there should be no large crowds during the daily aarti and norms regarding noise pollution should be followed.

Banning of immersion processions last year due to the Covid-19 pandemic had led to a huge drop in noise levels. The average noise levels recorded last year were between the range of 55 dB to 61 dB. For comparison, the average noise level recorded in 2019 was 86.2 decibels while it was 90.4 decibels in 2018.

Nitin Shinde, regional officer at MPCB, Pune region, told The Indian Express that the aim was to monitor background noise. Over the years, concerted efforts by Ganesh mandals, effective administration and awareness about harmful effects of noise pollution have led to a drop in decibel levels. There had been a drop of four decibel levels during the immersion procession in 2019 as compared to 2018.
Shinde also said that water samples will be collected across seven to eight spots on five days that coincide with the immersion of the Ganesh idol. The aim is to monitor the quality of water in the water bodies where the idol will be immersed, he said.

Parameters like pH, dissolved oxygen, biochemical oxygen demand, cadmium, chromium and others have to be monitored a day prior to the immersion and then after the event.

Dr Mahesh Shindikar, assistant professor of Biology at Applied Science Department at CoEP, and his team have, for a few years, conducted sound monitoring exercises at 10 crossroads along Laxmi Road on the concluding days of the festival. “Last year, there was no procession and we had given reference level data on Laxmi Road. We will try to repeat the exercise this year as well,” Dr Shindikar told The Indian Express.

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