With the noise level reaching 123.2 dB on Wednesday, the final immersion day, this year’s Ganesh visarjan was the noisiest in the last 10 years. Last year, Girgaum Chowpatty had recorded the highest noise level at 121.4 dB.
According to activist Sumaira Abdulali of the Awaaz Foundation, who recorded noise pollution levels at different locations in the city, sound of traditional instruments like ‘dhol’ and ‘tasha’ got amplified by loud speakers to enhance the pollution.
“As technology is getting better, noise levels are also increasing. Traditional instruments, amplified by loud speakers end up being louder than the DJs,” said Abdulali.
Even the police loudspeakers at the immersion spots were louder than the permissible limit of 85-88 dB, said Abdulali.
The police, this year, have been mapping the sound level across the city. “It was good to see that police too were conducting their own noise mapping in several parts of the city,” said Abdulali.
This year, at 121.8 db, Lamington Road recorded the second highest noise pollution level. To add to the residents’ woes, the locality was noisiest around midnight and the police did not make much effort to stop them, Abdulali said.
The lowest sound level was recorded at 81 dB. Even the ‘silence zones’ were not spared from noise pollution. Of the 23 spots where noise levels were recorded by Abdulali, two places in Khar and Ville Parle were in ‘silence zones.’
“The fact that Ganpati was noisier this year despite fewer numbers of processions, noticed by me, was noteworthy,” Abdulali said. However, as per the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), the number of such processions rose by around 8,058 compared to last year’s figures.