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Activists raise voice over lack of hearing test for Mumbai traffic cops

Exposure to constant honking makes Mumbai traffic police vulnerable to hearing loss

cities Updated: May 24, 2017 09:50 IST
Farhan Shaikh
Farhan Shaikh
Standing at a noisy flyover for five minutes could make you feel dizzy, warns Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.(HT)

While the traffic police boast of the regular health check-ups they conduct to ensure the force is in good health, they don’t include a hearing test which, experts say, should be done on priority for those standing at chaotic traffic junctions through the day.

Picture this: a 50-year-old constable HT spoke to said he travels for at least 30 minutes by train to reach the traffic junction. At the spot, he is exposed to constant honking for at least five hours.This is the routine for almost all his colleagues in the department.

“There is no hearing test. They check our blood pressure and condition of the heart, among others,” said a constable posted at Malad police station.

Mumbai police spokesperson Ashok Dudhe, however, refuted the claims. “ We include hearing tests in the check-up.”

“We are aware of the occupational hazard [hearing ailments]. We are taking steps to reduce their exposure to noise. We transfer traffic constables posted at traffic junctions to police station after five years,” said Milind Bharambe, joint commissioner of police, traffic.

Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation, said, “When we put constables through hearing tests, most of them showed a significant hearing loss. When you are amid noise, understanding speech becomes difficult.” “Traffic noise is a continuous source of pollution. In places like JJ flyover, it exceeds 100 dB at times. If we stand under the flyover for five minutes, we start to feel dizzy,” she said.

First Published: Apr 22, 2017 13:16 IST