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Green Ganeshotsava 2021: Mumbai opts for quieter celebrations

04:45 AM Sep 21, 2021 | Pratip Acharya

Mumbai witnessed thus far the quietest Ganeshotsava, city-based environmentalists and noise pollution experts have claimed. According to environmentalist and founder of NGO Awaaz, Sumaira Abdulali said the highest sound level recorded in 2021 was 93.1 dB (decibels) recorded at the entry point of Girgaon Chowpatty immersion site. Abdulali said the sound was caused by the constant blowing of horns.

Abdulali has been recording dB levels in Mumbai during all major festivals since 2003. She said the highest level in 2020 was 100.7 dB, recorded near Worli Dairy and the sound was caused due to drums in a procession.

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“As per our observation, this year, there were fewer loudspeakers than last year. At Girgaon Chowpatty, we did not find people blowing trumpets or beating drums that usually take place every year,” Abdulali told Free Press Journal on Monday. She also maintained that in most places, the traffic noise has been the source of sound that would cause higher dB levels. As per the report prepared by Abdulali, 75.1-86.9 dB was recorded at Girgaon Chowpatty immersion point and a maximum 93.1 dB was recorded at the entry point of Chowpatty. She added that 85dB was recorded at Haji Ali and 80 dB at Shivaji Park.

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“In all these places, the noise was created by traffic and vehicles and not by loudspeakers, drums, firecrackers, or any other instruments or devices that is related to the festival,” Abdulali said.

Earlier in 2020, around 75 dB was recorded at Girgaon Chowpatty, 100.7db was recorded at Worli Dairy, 74.6 dB was recorded at Shivaji Park and 91 dB was recorded at Worli Naka. She said that last year, the source from most of these places was firecrackers, noise caused at processions, and ringing of bells. “Other than temple bells at Haji Ali, not many sources of sounds were recorded this year,” she said.

Abdulali also maintained that prior to the lockdown, around 121.3 dB was recorded near Opera House in 2019, and the highest dB level that she has recorded in the past 18 years was 123.9 dB.

Senior BMC officials said the prohibition of large gatherings had resulted in quieter celebration this year. “This year, our officials and the police were much more vigilant as we were anticipating the third wave of the pandemic. The citizens of Mumbai have also become more aware of the situation in the last one year,” a senior BMC official said.

Sound levels

2021

Girgaon Chowpatty

79.3 dB-93.1 dB (Noise from traffic, police loudspeakers)

Worli

76 dB (Noise from traffic; no loudspeakers or noisy instruments)

Shivaji Park

80 dB (Noise from traffic; no loudspeakers or noisy instruments)

Sound levels

2020

Girgaon Chowpatty

67.5 dB -75.5 dB (Noise from traffic)

Worli

91-100 dB (Procession, firecrackers)

Shivaji Park

53.1-74.6 dB (People talking, ringing of bells)

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