Noisy Delhi to get a sound check
An average Delhiite is exposed to noise levels several notches higher than what is safe. Experts say this leads to serious health implications — from deafness to heart conditions to sleep disorders.delhi Updated: Apr 01, 2013 01:30 IST
An average Delhiite is exposed to noise levels several notches higher than what is safe. Experts say this leads to serious health implications — from deafness to heart conditions to sleep disorders.They attribute the problem to Delhi government’s failure to have automatic noise-level monitoring centres. "There is no real-time data," said Anumita Roychowdhury, executive director of the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE). "Random and manual monitoring is sometimes conducted with hand-held devices. This has resulted in poor data collection because there are no area-specific plans."
Now, Delhi will soon have six automatic noise monitoring centres at RK Puram, Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, Civil Lines and IGI Airport. “We’re procuring equipment and will have stricter enforcement,” said a Delhi Pollution Control Committee official.
The urgency comes after the National Green Tribunal in January told the DPCC to curb noise pollution and have a 24x7 call centre for registration of complaints. The tribunal also asked the traffic police and sub-divisional magistrates to take action against offenders.
The CSE recently conducted a survey and found noise levels going up to 100 decibels in commercial zones (standard 60 db) and 90 decibels in residential zones (standard 50 db) during peak traffic hours. Roychowdhury added, “Exposure to high noise levels even for short durations is also very harmful.”
Doctors say anything above 85 decibels may be harmful for the ear. Above 90 decibels is potentially damaging to the inner ear. Among Indian cities, Mumbai is the nosiest, followed by Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore.