Top five noisiest traffic junctions in Mumbai

  • Badri Chatterjee, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 05, 2016 11:18 IST

Three silence zones are among the noisiest roads in Mumbai.

In the absence of noise limits or restriction on honking in India, busy traffic junctions have noise levels that are hazardous to health. The average noise level from vehicle horns in Mumbai is 110 decibels (dB) – that is as high as a live rock band. This is significantly above the estimation by the World Health Organisation (WHO) that says long- term exposure to noise levels from 85db to 90db is enough for hearing loss.

As the Mumbai traffic police kickstarts its 10-day campaign to curb high noise levels from Thursday, HT takes a look at five of the noisiest traffic junctions in the city and problems related to them, according to a study conducted by anti-noise campaigner Awaaz Foundation earlier this year.

Mohammad Ali Road, south Mumbai

The sound echoes due to the presence of buildings on all sides at Mohammad Ali Road. (Hindustan Times)

Noise levels - 105.8 dB

Area – Silence Zone

Problem - Continuous honking in this area, which is amplified since it is under a flyover. The sound echoes due to the presence of buildings on all sides. The survey adjudged noise levels to be the loudest at this traffic junction in Mumbai.

Dadar station, junction near Dadar market (Flower market)

Commuters become victims of non-stop honking on the narrow road that leads to Dadar station (Hindustan Times)

Noise levels - 101.3 dB

Area – Residential Zone

Problem – Non-stop honking on the narrow road that leads to Dadar Station. Also, vehicles parked on either the side of the road makes it a single-lane traffic junction on both sides, with vehicles moving at a slow pace during busy traffic hours.

Traffic junction opposite Sir JJ Hospital, Nagpada-Mumbai Central

Noise levels - 97.7 dB

Area – Silence Zone

Problem – Improper traffic management between the by-lane and a road going up towards JJ flyover. Continuous honking even when there is no traffic jam. Since, motorbikes are not allowed to go on the flyover, their haphazard movement at the junction add to the congestion and excess honking.

Sion Circle

Noise levels are amplified because of the flyover just above the circle (Hindustan Times)

Noise levels - 97.4 dB

Area – Residential Zone

Problem – With a number of potholes in the area, vehicles navigating their way through the circular route, cut lanes that lead to incessant honking. Noise levels are also amplified becausae of a flyover just above the circle.

Flora Fountain (opposite Bombay high court)

Constant pedestrian traffic adds to the noise levels. (Hindustan Times)

Noise levels - 97.1 dB

Area – Silence Zone

Problem – Traffic lights at this junction turn green in a span of two minutes. Within this time frame, owing to narrow roads, traffic congestion leads to constant honking. Constant pedestrian traffic is another reason for high noise levels.


“Traffic in Mumbai is the most continuous source of extreme noise pollution throughout the year, often continuing through the night,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation. “The initiative by the Mumbai Traffic Police to conduct a sustained enforcement campaign is welcome. Noise from unnecessary honking, which impacts all of us on a daily basis needs to be contained.”


According to doctors, exposure to high decibel noise causes hearing loss, high blood pressure, mental health illness and even cancer. ““Excessive noise from sources such as honking can cause various health problems related to the heart, mental health and can even lead to cancer,” said Dr John Panicker, national coordinator of Indian Medical Association’s Safe Sound Initiative.

Traffic policemen worst hit

After its study of recording noise at various traffic junctions, Awaaz Foundation tested the hearing of traffic policemen and found their hearing ability was affected because of constant honking.

“We found the policemen were unaware they were suffering from marginal hearing loss because of constant exposure to noisy traffic junctions,” said Abdulali. “While they are trying their best to help regulate traffic in the city, exposure to high noise levels daily is taking a toll on their health.”


Healthy hearing threshold 0dB

Pin dropping 10dB

Rustling leaves 20dB

Sound of river water 40dB

Light traffic, refrigerator 50dB

Conversational speech, air conditioner 60dB

Vacuum cleaner 75dB

Alarm clock 80dB

Live rock band 115dB

Steel mill 120dB

Thunderclap, chain saw 130dB

Jet take-off (at 25 metres) 150dB

(Decibel scale chart from World Health Organisation)

Noise standards as laid down in Noise Pollution (Regulation andControl) Rules, 2000

Residential area

Day time limit (in dB) (6.30am to 8.30pm): 55

Night time limit (in dB) (8.30pm – 6.30am): 45

Silence zone

Day time limit (in dB) (6.30am to 8.30pm): 50

Night time limit (in dB) (8.30pm – 6.30am): 40

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