For the time, the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti (BSGSS) has issued a set of “dos and don'ts” for city Ganpati mandals. BSGSS has issued the instructions to keep a check on violations by organisers.
According to the Indian Express, the samiti published the guidelines after a meeting with Mumbai Police earlier this month. Among the guidelines are — warning against exceeding noise pollution levels and to consider playing devotional songs in place of film remixes belted out by hired DJs during the 10-day-long festival.
Naresh Dahibavkar, who heads the Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti told the leading daily, “Last year, I received phone calls from parents of volunteers at mandals who had been booked by police for violating noise pollution norms. Having an FIR against you, spoils job and academic prospects. No one should put their future in jeopardy over a 10-day festival. To make mandals aware of noise pollution norms and safety precautions, we published the guidebook for the first time in our history.”
The BSGSS has also warned the Ganpati mandals of legal consequences if any of the “dos and don’ts” are violated. The booklet begins with a brief summary of the Environment Protection Act and reminds mandals that each year, the deadline to use loudspeakers is extended to midnight for 15 days, four of which are reserved for Ganesh Chaturthi.
Here are the “dos and don’ts” published by Brihanmumbai Sarvajanik Ganeshotsav Samanvay Samiti:
The Ganpati Mandals have been instructed to switch off loudspeakers by 10 pm during the other seven days of the festival.
The samiti has recommended entering into written contracts with contractors providing sound equipment.
The noise levels during the day will not exceed 55 decibels and 45 decibels at night, and similarly 50 decibels in the day and 40 decibels at night in silent zones.
If the sound still exceeds these levels, the contractor should face criminal action instead of the mandals.
The samiti has also recommended that volunteers at mandals download sound measuring apps on their phones to personally monitor decibel levels.
The samiti has recommended that mandals play traditional and devotional music instead of film songs.
Ganpati mandals have also been asked to refrain from making any political statements as the state Assembly elections are round the corner and from hurting any religious sentiments.