Deafened by constant honking and cries of dying engines, and rail squeal of metro trains, residents living along Gurgaon’s busy stretches are planning to move to the interiors, and approach the pollution control board for respite.
Residents say when they moved in to condominiums near MG Road and NH-8 15 year ago, traffic volume was not so high. However, the situation has become unbearable because of rapid urbanisation.
“I stay very near to NH-8. Though this condominium has double insulator glasses, still we fail to get sound sleep. Residents should meet local administration regarding the issue before it gets late,” Kapil Gupta of Raheja Atlantis said.
The loss of several green belts has also aggravated the problem. Trees along the NH-8 used to act as a natural sound barrier but they were chopped in the process of urbanisation.
Some residents shifted to parts of city that are not close to NH-8 to avoid the problem. Sector 31 resident Rajan Munjal, recently shifted to Ardee City in the interior of the city to run away from the ear-splitting noise. “The problem is huge, but people are not aware of it,” Munjal said.
There are no sound barriers near residential complexes near main roads.
“The noise pollution arising from horns in the vehicle and their undue and unlawful use by drivers, and the use of pressure horns by trucks and other heavy vehicles, are a source of serious noise pollution. We should protest about the alarming situation,” Kausha Sharma of Sector 15, which is close to NH-8, said.
Even as the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on July 16 asked regional transport authorities to ensure that no vehicle plying in the national capital region uses pressure horns and to adopt measures to tackle the menace, nothing has been done on ground, urban transport experts say.
The situation is not too bright in residential areas either. Industrial and commercial units that are close to condominiums create huge disturbance for people living nearby.
Residents of Park View City 1 on Shona Road have been complaining about commercial units nearby producing sound above the permissible level.
“While residential norms are 55 dB during day ( 6Am - 10PM) and 45 dB during night ( 10 PM - 6 AM), the noise generated by commercial units are always around 57-64dB, with the peak touching around 68-70 dB,” Munish Gupta of Park View City 1, said. As many as 150 families have been suffering for the last three years without any action from authorities, he said.
While it is causing irritability and disturbing sleep, its impact in the long run is something that residents are dreading. “Noise pollution is the modern plague affecting our cities. The high noise level affects my sleep and concentration. It also increases stress level,” Sarika Panda of Sector 52, said.
In 2011, after constant protest by residents of Essel Towers on MG Road, the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) installed noise barriers on the MG Road Metro station stretch.
In a study conducted by the DMRC at one of the towers of Essel Tower, it was found that the noise level varied between 73 and 74 decibels (dB) in peak hours as against the prescribed standards of 45 dB and 55 dB. The noise of traffic on the road near the locality was recorded at 70 dB at peak hours.