Delhiites may soon get relief from the ever-rising, deafening noise levels in the metropolis.
The Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) will set up its first automatic noise monitoring centres at RK Puram, Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, Civil Lines and IGI Airport.
“We are in the process of procuring equipment. Installation will begin soon. We will soon start monitoring real-time noise levels in the Capital,” said a senior DPCC official."Once these centres are operational, we can have better action plans and stricter enforcement," he said.
Till now, the DPCC monitored noise levels manually. Efforts to curb rising noise levels in the city, a potential cause for ailments such as hearing impairment and sleep disorders, have not been effective because of lack of scientific monitoring and data collection. Noise control measures are taken and awareness campaigns are carried out only on special occasions such as Diwali.
The pollution committee is already using the six locations to monitor air quality. “We are procuring five-noise monitoring systems this financial year to have real-time noise monitoring data,” said a senior DPCC official. Six air quality monitoring stations established by the DPCC are providing round-the-clock information on ambient air quality in different parts of the Capital.
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit had in her budget speech promised noise monitoring centres this year. The Central Pollution Control Board has some monitoring centres in the Capital but they have not been effective because of their locations.
The the Delhi government’s latest economic survey says the city experiences excessive noise on account of large number of vehicles, including those coming from other areas, construction activities, DG sets and loudspeakers. “The number of vehicles registered in Delhi has increased from 24.32 lakh in 1994-95 to more than 74 lakh in March 2012,” the survey found.
In October last year, top environment department officials of the Delhi government told police and administrative officials to ensure effective enforcement of measures to curb noise pollution.
The focus was on effective implementation of the noise pollution (regulation and control) rules, 2000, and checking high sound levels after 10 pm as directed by the Supreme Court. A DPCC official admitted that noise pollution in Delhi was 10-14 decibels higher than the safe limit of 50 db.