‘Noise levels exceeded 100 dB at most locations’
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Noise levels during the Ganesh immersion procession crossed permissible limits this year too. According to Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) officials, the trend shows a marginal increase in the high decibel levels every year. Anil Mohekar, Regional officer of the Western region unit of MPCB, told Newsline that at most locations the noise levels exceeded 100 decibels during the procession.
Noise has been recognised as an ambient air pollutant and the MPCB has been monitoring noise pollution at various cities during the Ganesh Festival. According to the noise pollution rules, the permissible noise level during the day is 50dB in silence zones and 55dB in residential areas.
Decibel levels registered both by the MPCB and Pune Municipal Corporation in the last three years show the levels were the highest on idol immersion day. While the initial days of the festival saw noise levels within the range of 70-80 decibels, they soon crossed the permissible limits on the last two-three days. The work was outsourced to Ashwamedh agency, Mohekar said. The decibel levels were monitored from September 25-29 from 7 pm till midnight.
Noise levels were monitored at Alka Chowk, M G Road, Babu Genu Chowk, Chaphekar Chowk (Chinchwad), Dange Chowk (thergaon) Deccan, Hadapsar, Mahatma Phule Mandai, Saras Baug, Khadki, Pimpri, City Post Chowk, Laxmi Road, Yerawada, Shaniwar Peth, Swargate, Satara Road, Shivajinagar and Karve Road. At four places — Babajan Chowk, Alka Chowk, Thergaon and Karve Road — the noise levels crossed 100 decibels on the immersion day. The levels remained constant between 80-90 decibels on the immersion day.
The noise levels are fairly low during the daytime and peak during the evening hours. "People who stay around the pandals are the most affected by the constant music played during the festival. The traffic cops are badly affected too," said Dr Gauri Belsare, president of ENT surgeons association.
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