Mumbai: The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) and city activists have been at two opposite sides of the road as far as organising and managing the city is concerned. This time, it is related to Ganesh Chaturthi and its festivities.
The civic body claims this year there has been less noise in Ganpati visarjan as compared to previous years, all thanks to the Bombay High Court order. The Bombay HC, on Friday, refused to lift the blanket ban on use of DJ and high-volume digital dolby sound systems during Ganesh Chaturthi and Navratri festivals. The court supported its ban saying that despite giving an undertaking, everyone violated noise norms.
Civic body officials said even if the decision came on Friday, the celebrations have been comparatively subdued than previous years. “The decision came today but even before that – on second, fifth and seventh day of visarjan – Mumbai fared better than earlier years,” said a senior civic official, adding, “Having said that devotees should stop going to those mandals and mosques using loudspeakers. Since when did noise started deciding devotion?”
Activists, however, said rules have been flouted the same way by many mandals across the city. “There is no reason for festivities to become nuisance, but sadly, many festivals have become but events. Even when we ask policemen to take action, they say they can take actions against DJ and sound systems but not against dhol-taashas and bands,” said Sumaira Abdulali, founder, Awaaz Foundation.
According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, residential areas should have a maximum noise level of 55dB in the day and 45dB at night. According to Awaaz Foundation, on the fifth day of visarjan, the highest noise was recorded in Worli at 112.6 decibels, while Juhu Koliwada and Mahim recorded 107 db and 104 db respectively.
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