Ganeshotsav 2021: Ganpati Visarjan quietest in 18 years - Awaaz Foundation Report

Founder of Awaaz Foundation, Sumaira Abdulali, shared the report on the official website which mentioned that the highest level of 93.1dB was recorded at the entry point of Girgaon Chowpatty immersion site

Ganeshotsav 2021: Ganpati Visarjan quietest in 18 years - Awaaz Foundation Report

The city of Mumbai celebrated Ganeshotsav 2021 in a simple manner. Citizens and associations followed the directives issued by the state government keeping the rising coronavirus (COVID-19) case and the pandemic in mind. Strict guidelines were announced during the festivities and the officials also imposed sec 144 keeping the festivities and visarjan in mind. Every year, lakhs of citizens bid farewell to Bappa in a grand manner. While the energy is high in Mumbai, the city also suffers a high level of noise pollution. 

However, a report released by Awaaz Foundation revealed that the city recorded the lowest noise pollution level this year in Ganeshotsav. The figures have been the lowest in the last 18 years and the same was possible due the COVID restrictions issued by the government. Though the levels were low last year, 2021 recorded a new figure, further lower.

This was despite the drums and a few instruments played by the people during the festival despite the warnings. Officials also stated that the visarjan on second day did not have much noice this year and similar pattern was observed even on the tenth day.

Also Read: 500 Home Guards, 275 constables and additional manpower deployed for Visarjan

Founder of Awaaz foundation, Sumaira Abdula, shared a report on the official website which said, "Awaaz Foundation has measured noise from various sources since 2003 including festivals, religious places, political rallies private events using loudspeakers or firecrackers, construction, traffic, railways and airports. Thanks to arrangements made by Police, and with cooperation of the Ganpati mandals to not only safeguard health and the environment in the Covid 19 pandemic, but to reduce noise pollution, another health hazard, noise levels were even lower than 2020, making it the quietest in 18 years since Awaaz Foundation began recording noise levels."

To ensure safety and social distancing at all times, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation planned visarjan centres across the city which citizens used for the festivities. Moreover, appeals were made to opt for eco-friendly Ganpati and to perform visarjan at the residential premises. Meanwhile, CM Uddhav Thackeray also issued the guidelines for Ganesh Chaturthi whereby associations were allowed to have idols only upto four feet tall, while the same for residential celebrations was limited to two feet. 

Awaaz Foundation has been recording noise pollution levels in Mumbai during various festivals since 2003. Various religious places, political rallies, political events, Diwali, construction sites, traffic jams, locals, airports, etc., are constantly checked and awareness is raised to ensure lower noise levels are maintained. Over the last few years, many activists have been working towards emphasising the effects of noise pollution.

"Noise pollution is another unrecognized health crisis which affects all residents of Mumbai and Maharashtra. We sincerely hope that, in the interest of citizens’ health, the measures taken this year to safeguard the health of citizens from Covid 19 with the cooperation of all concerned will continue not only for the rest of this festival season but in years to come with the co-operation of the Ganpati mandals and all participants, the Police and BMC.  Like Covid 19, noise pollution is a long-standing reason to avoid noisy gatherings and enjoy our celebrations, responsibly," Sumaira added. 

Below mentioned is the level of Noise Pollution reported on the final day of Ganeshotsav 2021, i.e. September 19, 2021

7.05pm: Ram Mandir Lane, Khar-Danda Collection Point - 77 dB
7.48pm: Worli Atria Mall - 76dB
7.59pm: Haji Ali Procession - 88dB (slighly high due to the use of temple bell in procession)
8.20pm: Girgaon Chowpatty entry point - varied from 79.3 to 93.1dB (due to noise from traffic, horns and police loudspeakers.)
8.45 to 9pm: Girgaon Chowpatty immersion point - 75.1 to 86.9dB
9.45pm: Haji Ali Collection Point - 85dB (noise reported from traffic and police activities)
10.07pm: Shivaji Park Collection Point - 80dB (noise reported from traffic and police activities)

The report states that no loudspeakers or noisy instruments were used in the above-mentioned time zones, which also led to reduced noise levels.

Sumaira concluded the report by stating, "Ganpati this year was even quieter than 2020, with almost no loudspeakers or other noisy instruments observed. A temple bell was rung continuously by one procession near Haji Ali immersion point and horns were constantly blown at other places. The highest level of 93.1dB was recorded at the entry point of Girgaon Chowpatty immersion site by constant blowing of horns."

Also Read: Awaaz Foundation demands to remove loudspeakers from all religious places

Also Read: Despite Months of Lockdown, Noise Levels Remained Above Permissible Limits

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