Pune Mandals continue to flout noise pollution norms

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Noise levels marginally down compared to last year, suggests data by CoEP students

Pune: Although the average noise data collected by students of College of Engineering, Pune (CoEP) on Ganesh idol immersion day showed a dip of 1.7 dB compared to 2016, several Ganesh mandals flouted the noise pollution norms and did not bother to follow the police appeals and used over eight to 10 speakers during the Ganesh immersions on Tuesday and Wednesday. 

As per CoEP students, the average decibel of sound recorded was 90.9 dB, which is less compared to 2016, which recorded an average of 92.6 dB. 

Speaking about the importance of following noise pollution norms, Mahesh Shindekar, Professor at Department of Applied Science and in-charge faculty of the exercise said, “Loud noise affects the psychological and physical health of humans and animals. People experience irritation, restlessness, instability etc due to high level of noise which also affects pregnant women and children.” 

The professor said it is ironical that many parents take their children to the procession. 

“Police personnel and volunteers who have to witness the procession should take more care as noise pollution can lead to deteriorating health,” added Shindekar. 

According to students of College of Engineering, Pune, the decibels recorded at some chowks had extreme levels violating the average decibel level. 

This included Ganpati Chowk (100 db at 8 pm on September 5), Kunte Chowk (101 db at 8 am on September 6), Lokmanya Tilak Chowk (99.2 db at 8 pm on September 5). The permissible noise limits in residential area is 55dB(A) and 45dB(A) during day and night, respectively. 

As per Maharashtra police norms noise level should not exceed 10dB(A) above the ambient noise standard for the area of 75dB(A) or whichever is lower. Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz Foundation, a prominent voice against noise pollution said, “The noise pollution created by sound systems during festivals or processions is very harmful. It increases the stress level of patients in hospitals. It also adds to the stress level of children and elderly people. I think a collective measure should be taken in order to ban these Dolby sound systems during the processions.” 

Alok Mishra, a filmmaker who was getting his father treated in a private hospital, said, “ Although hospital areas come under silence zones, people still played sound systems with a dozen speakers during the Ganpati procession. My father was in ICU and we could hear it even inside that area, the doors were vibrating. All the patients there got disturbed. It’s extremely harmful for patients in hospitals but it seems nobody cares about it.” 

Additional Commissioner of Police Ravindra Sengaonkar said action has been taken against mandals for flouting the norms of noise pollution. “We appealed to mandals to use maximum four speakers but several mandals did not follow the rule. Similarly the number of dhol pathaks was limited to three but the mandals included 100 dhols in each pathak which added to the problems. Moreover, instead to playing simple religious music, some mandals chose to play retro and rock music which should be avoided at such festivals,” added Sengaonkar. 

Silence zones 

- Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 states that areas around hospitals should be defined as silence zones. 
- An area comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts should be termed as silence zones. 
- A loudspeaker or sound system or a sound amplifier should not be used at night time except in closed premises for communication within conference room, auditorium, community halls or during public emergency.

Average of Data collected by CoEP on Sept 5 & 6 

Chowk     Ave. dB(A) 
Belbaug Chowk (Samadhan)     88.3 
Ganpati Chowk     90.0 
Limbaraj Maharaj Chowk     89.7 
Kunte Chowk     96.8 
Umbrya Ganpati Chowk     93.1 
Bhausaheb Gokhale Chowk     90.9 
Shedge Vithoba Chowk     93.2 
Holkar Chowk     92.2 
Lokmanya Tilak Chowk     92.5 
Khanduji Baba Chowk     82.8 
Average     90.9 

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