Noise in India

Noise in India

For many months I have been receiving Google alerts about noise and/or noise pollution. And in almost every single alert, there is at least one story about noise/noise pollution in India. I usually just file these alerts, intending on going back to them later, which I seldom do. But in the back of mind sit these stories about India. So, this weekI have finally gone back to the file of alerts and today I am posting about noise in India.

But where to start? I have alerts dating back three years! There are stories about urban centres, airports, roads, streets, parties, religious celebrations – the list is very long, and the noise levels very high. Today I will post about only one topic, one dating from an alert from 2012, about one example of loud religious celebrations.

ganesha drummingganesh-chaturthi

Ganpati Immersion at Lalbaug on Monday. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar,Mumbai, 08/09/2014

Ganpati Immersion at Lalbaug on Monday. Express photo by Prashant Nadkar,Mumbai, 08/09/2014

This is a story from 2012, about celebrations in Pune, in the state of Maharashtra. Pune has close to 8 million residents. (It is ranked as the 71st largest city in the world.) The story is about the noise level of Ganesh Chaturthi, an annual of the Hindu god Ganesha (also known as Ganeshotsav). These celebrations can last for up to ten days.

As you can imagine, a city of almost 8 million celebrating on the streets as they transport clay statues of Ganesha would be very loud. India has noise pollution laws, but it seems that it is very hard to enforce them. (Go back to the photos above to get a sense of the size of the crowds that are out.)

This short article from The Times of India, shows the high decibel levels of noise in Pune during Ganeshotsav.

This article is also about the noise level of Ganesh festivals. It is written by a doctor, who is trying to raise awareness about the negative impact of noise levels. You will see that the writer is addressing the same issues as we have seen in stories from other big cities around the world – impact on the mental and physical health of people exposed to excessive levels of noise.

It seems that part of the problem is how the police monitor and deal with the noise by-law violations. This article points out how the polices’ messages have led to confusion about noise levels during Ganeshotsav.

And here you can watch a video of Ganeshotsav in Pune in 2012. I would have to say that it sounds loud indeed! And as far as I can tell, the noise level has only increased since 2012.

Today I covered just one of the issues about noise that is creating problems in India. Later posts will deal with other issues.

Happy Thanksgiving weekend to those of you in Canada. I suspect you won’t be as noisy as the crowds in Pune. (At least I hope you aren’t as noisy. I can’t imagine how you could be as noisy!!)

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