Pune: With over 4,579 Ganesh mandals in the city all set to celebrate Ganeshotsav this year, implementing noise pollution norms remains a challenge for the city police.
Going by the data of noise levels recorded by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) during Ganesh festivals, Pune continues to be a noisy city as the noise level goes beyond 100dB(A) during the festival.
As per the 2014 report of MPCB on noise levels recorded during Ganesh festival, the maximum noise level during day time was observed at Mahatma Phule Mandai at 105dB(A) and a minimum of 45 dB(A) was observed at Parvati. At night, the maximum noise level of 78dB(A) was observed at Thergaon.
The MPCB records noise levels at 25 different locations in the city during the festive period. As per records, the noise pollution level has reduced in the past few years but continues to remain above the limits set by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). City police officials said use of music systems, bands and dhol tasha cause noise pollution during the festival.
“To control noise pollution, we need to reduce the number of speakers in music systems and number of members in dhol tasha group. Similarly, if mandals come together for group visarjan, it helps us save time and also reduces noise pollution if the mandals hire only one band and not separate bands of dhol tasha groups,” a senior police official said.
Police officials said that people should also contact them if they are facing problems of noise pollution in their area. “Similarly, people should not sing daily bajans using loud music systems. Some mandals also organise cultural activities during the festival, which adds to the noise level. Public awareness and support from people is one of the solutions to bring noise under control,” added the police official.
As per statistics of MPCB in 2013, Pune was found to be very noisy on the last day of Ganesh festival showing even average maximum noise level at Laxmi Road and Mahatma Phule Mandai with 111dB(A) and 113dB(A) respectively.
Also, maximum noise level of Laxmi Road, Mahatma Phule Mandai, Koregaon Park, Chapekar Chowk and Pimpri was found to be 115dB(A), 119dB(A), 104dB(A), 101dB(A) and 106dB(A) respectively.
Activist and lawyer Asim Sarode said that police should provide WhatsApp numbers and email addresses so that people can send complaints and videos of noise pollution norms. “As we are aware that noise pollution leads to hearing loss, hypertension, stress and other harmful effects, we cannot ignore the law and its implementation,” added Sarode.