If you thought Diwali was the only time when eardrums needed nursing, think again. On an average, a Delhiite is exposed to approximately 75 decibel of noise, while the safe limit for hearing among humans is only 50 decibels.
A study conducted at several locations across the city showed that sound levels ranged between 50 decibel in the quiet interiors of colonies to 110 decibel at busy traffic intersections.
“Whenever a truck passes by or honks, the decibel level instantly rises to 110-120 decibel. At the Airport Express
tunnel, the sound level touches 86 decibel, which is extremely harmful,” said Chetan Upadhyaya, founder secretary of the Satya Foundation, which conducted the study.
At the Moolchand intersection, the decibel level was found to be 73, while it was 65 decibel at AIIMS.
“This poses serious public health implications because a continuous exposure to even vehicular noise can lead to hearing impairment, hypertension or sleep disorders, including cognitive impairment in children. As of now, there is no clear action plan to decrease noise levels but we need stricter technical measures to reduce the volume of traffic,” said Anumita Roy Choudhury, executive director, Centre for Science and Research.
The Delhi Traffic Police, however, have listed checking vehicular noise pollution at the bottom of its priority list.
“Yes, we do fine people with musical or pressure horns but our priority is to first take to task people who pose a threat to lives by overspeeding or not wearing seat belts,” said a police official.