September 21, 2021 10:10:33 am
A sound mapping exercise by researchers from the College of Engineering Pune (CoEP), has found a drop in the noise levels on Laxmi Road on the concluding day of Ganesh festival for the second consecutive year. The exercise, which has been conducted for 20 years on the day of Ganesh immersions, has seen its lowest average of 59.8 dB this year.
While the immersion procession was suspended as part of pandemic restrictions, tighter control by the administration and police saw an overall smooth movement along Laxmi Road, CoEP researchers have said. “Compared to previous years, there was perfect silence as the noise levels were within permissible limits,” Mahesh Shindikar, Assistant Professor of Biology at the Applied Science Department, CoEP, told The Indian Express.
Shindikar and his team conducted the sound mapping exercise on September 19 and 20. The sound levels were monitored along the procession path despite there being no immersion procession. “The readings overall are normal and in the vicinity of prescribed permissible limits at all locations,” Shindikar said.
Over the years, efforts have been taken to curb noise pollution and ensure permissible levels are maintained during the day in silent zones (50dB) and in residential areas (55dB). ThIn a first, this year saw noise levels dipping close to an average of 60 decibels. Last year, the average was 65.5 dB while in 2019 it was 86.2 dB. e average noise levels over the past 20 years have ranged between 90 and 95 dB and in some years, the levels have shot past the 100 dB mark due to beating drums, dhol-tashas and other traditional instruments used by Ganesh mandals during the immersion procession.
The ten locations along Laxmi Road where the sound mapping exercise was carried out are Belbaug chowk, Ganpati chowk, Limbaraj Maharaj chowk, Kunte chowk, Umbrya Ganpati chowk, Bhausaheb Gokhale chowk, Shedge Vithoba chowk, Holkar chowk, Lokmanya Tilak chowk and Khanduji Baba chowk.
“In the past two days – September 19 and 20 — the noise levels during the day were 67.1 and during the night – 45.2dB,” Shindikar said, adding that the sound mapping exercise commenced on September 19 at noon and continued till 8 am on September 20.
The research team included students Murli Kumbharkar, Nagesh Pawar, P Kulkarni, Shubham Patil, Vinit Pawar, Balaji Navande and Shubham Alte.
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