Mumbai police to keep a close watch on Sena's Dussehra rally

Mumbai: City police and organisations dealing in anti-noise pollution will keep a close watch on the Shiv Sena's Dussehra rally which will be held at central Mumbai's Shivaji Park ground.

The police, equipped with noise meters, will prowl the ground, which has been categorised as the silence zone, to measure if the intensity of noise level is beyond permitted 50 decibels during the rally.

"Our men will be having noise meters with them to measure the sound levels. We have advised the Sena not to violate High Court order that states the organisers must abide by Noise Pollution Control Rules, 2010. As per the rules, noise level should not exceed 50 decibel in silence zones," City Police Commissioner Sanjeev Dayal told PTI.

If they find noise level norms were violated, an appropriate action would be initiated against the organisers, he added.

Earlier, the city police had denied permission for the rally citing silence zone norms, following which the party moved the High Court.

The Court asked the police and municipal authorities to allow Sena's rally at the ground but told the organisers that the noise level cannot exceed 50 decibel in silence zones as per Noise Pollution Control Rules, 2010.

Awaaz Foundation, a prominent NGO working to contain noise levels in the city, will also attend the rally to measure sound intensity.

"With a noise meter in my hand, I will be going there to see if the High Court order is followed," said Sumaira Abdulali, President of Awaaz.

If the Shiv Sena uses loud speakers, then it would be quite possible that the noise levels would be violated, she said.

"Even if a person shouts loudly in a silence room, the sound levels crosses 50 decibels," she explained.

She would write to authorities concerned if she finds the rules are violated, Abdulali added.

Maharashtra Pollution Control Board will also observe the rally with regards to sound level, said a senior official of the board, refusing to elaborate further.

Shiv Sena will install noise barriers on the ground to maintain noise levels.

For Shiv Sena workers, the Dussehra rally, which has been held over the last four decades, is a very crucial meeting as the party chief Bal Thackeray directs his workers through his speech on the party's plan of action and his point of view on several issues.

For the first time, three generations of Thackerays would share the dais today as the party is all set to launch 'Yuva Sena', to be helmed by Aditya, grandson of Sena chief Bal Thackeray.