If the civic body’s annual environment report is anything to go by, the city is getting noisier by the year.
As per the findings of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation’s (BMC) annual Environment Status Report (ESR), the noise levels for residential areas in 2010-11 were between 60 to 73 decibels (dB) as against the permissible limit of 55dB in the day and 45 dB at night. The rise, thus, is making Mumbaiites vulnerable to the consequent physical and mental trauma.
During festivals -- as per the report -- the noise levels go up considerably even in silence zones, which include education institutions, places of worship and health care facilities. The report attributes the rise to traffic snarls, less monitoring in silence zones and low awareness amongst people about the norms.
Considering the harmful effects of constant exposure to blaring noise on health, the Central Pollution Control Board has set permissible limits for noise in various zones. As per the norms, the maximum permissible limit for residential areas is 55dB during the day and 45 dB at night. For silence zones, it is 50dB in the day and 40 dB at night.
For the year 2010-11, the noise levels is residential areas were from 60-73dB, while 55-78 dB in silence zones. The noise levels around the airport were 80-88 dB against a permissible limit of 65 dB in the day and 55 dB at night.
According to experts, the lack of political and administrative will is responsible for the failure in monitoring. The authorities, however, claim that with 400 pieces of equipment in place, action will now be taken against those violating the norms. “Now the police need not wait for us to file a complaint. They can record the levels and lodge complaints,” said a MPCB official.