At a time when Ganesh festival has become synonymous with rising noise levels, police in Vashi area of adjoining Navi Mumbai have successfully implemented a campaign to ensure that the noise level remains within permitted level during the 10-day festivity.
“We conducted various meetings of Ganesh mandal members, committee members of religious institutions, peace committees, corporators and political leaders and briefed them about the legal provisions and recent High Court orders,” Senior Police Inspector of Vashi police station, Ajaykumar Landge said.
“We requested all to keep the loudspeaker volume under permitted level,” the police official told.
“One such zonal-level meeting was addressed by Navi Mumbai CP Hemant Nagrale and DCP Prashant Khaire, at the Vishnudas Bhave auditorium,” he said.
“Vashi police sent the High Court order to residents in the area on various WhatsApp groups and made a similar request.
“We took ambient readings of noise levels at different timings. Our team visited all Ganesh mandals with noise level meter, took measurements and got the volume of loud speakers adjusted within permissible limits,” he said.
Police ensured that no Ganesh pandal was erected on roads, Landge said.
“There are no kaman (arch), banners and hoardings on roads in Vashi, which has helped in smooth flow of traffic,” he said, adding the resultant smooth traffic flow also helped in keeping the noise level in control.
“We took readings even during the immersion processions and got the volume of musical instruments adjusted within permissible level,” he said.
Ganesh mandal members and residents of Vashi have responded positively, and are respecting the law and the High Court orders, Landge said.
Some Ganesh mandals have also put banners appealing the Ganesh bhakts/ public to respect the law and follow police directives, he said.
A public awareness rally by students of Scouts and Guides is planned on the last day of the festival, when the immersion of 10-day old idols takes place.
The rally will go to all Ganesh mandals in Vashi area where students will explain benefits of celebrating with low noise levels, the officer added.