The city has got its first three continuous noise-monitoring stations at Bandra east, Wadala and Thane.
Set up in February, these stations have been recording noise levels at the three sites, 24x7. “Since the last month, these stations are constantly recording noise levels that are also displayed on monitors at the stations. We will record the data and analyse it,” said BB Wade, regional director, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board.
The unmanned remote noise monitoring stations have been set up in keeping with the amendments to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, by the ministry of environment and forest.
Mumbai and six other cities are part of the pilot project for the country’s noise monitoring network. The other cities are Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Lucknow.
“Though a good move, these stations indicate that we are still in an infancy stage as far as monitoring noise is concerned,” said Sumaira Abdulali, founder, Awaaz Foundation, an organisation that tracks noise levels. “However, we still haven’t reached the point of action.”
Aimed at effective noise control, the ministry has proposed that once the National Ambient Noise Monitoring Network in all the seven cities becomes functional, it will be extended to 18 more cities.
The main sources of noise pollution include generators, firecrackers, loud speakers and music systems besides vehicular horns.
Not surprised that Mumbai is the noisiest city in India, Abdulali said noise mapping, an accepted scientific method to integrate noise standards into urban planning, is needed.
“There has been a drop in the peak level noise during festivals. But every day noise is still very high. Our motor training schools must introduce different skill sets to drive without honking.”