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Noise from Metro construction in south Mumbai as loud as a live rock concert

Noise can have adverse effects on health and continuous exposure to levels above 80dB could lead to partial hearing loss.

mumbai Updated: Feb 04, 2018 01:05 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Mumbai news,Noise pollution,rock concert
Noise levels recorded near a Metro construction site in Mumbai.(HT Photo)

Noise levels near construction sites of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro-3 line hit 110 decibel (dB) — as loud as a live rock concert or the recurring sound of a car horn.

After complaints from residents living near construction sites, anti-noise campaigner, Awaaz Foundation, measured noise levels at three locations – Churchgate, Cuffe Parade and Mahim – over the month. It found that noise from drilling machines at Churchgate and Mahim was between 106.1dB and 110dB. At Cuffe Parade, noise levels reached 92.5 dB, which is as loud as a lawn mower.

Noise can have adverse effects on health and continuous exposure to levels above 80dB could lead to partial hearing loss, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). “Continuous exposure to noise in the range of 100dB – 110dB can result in sensorineural hearing loss,” said Dr Ashwini Kumar Mehta, ear-nose-throat specialist from Seven Hills Health Hospital, Andheri.

“At Mahim, the drilling was within six feet of the residential buildings. At Cuffe Parade, although a noise barrier was seen, the drilling continued beyond the barrier at about 15 feet from residential buildings. At Churchgate, residential buildings were within 10 feet of the drilling work,” Awaaz Foundation’s report read. Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC), which is building the Metro line, did not respond to HT for a comment.

“Residents are finding it unbearable to live in these places as work goes on throughout the night,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation. “Agencies are not even considering measures for reducing noise.” After being exposed to noise levels above 100dB, Robin Jaisinghani, a resident of south Mumbai, filed a petition in the Bombay High Court in August, 2017, against MMRC and the state government, asking for a compensation of Rs10,000 per day for each member of his family. In December 2017, the court formed a committee to look into the specific complaints at various areas in south Mumbai. On February 2, Jaisinghani submitted Awaaz’s noise report to the committee. “They carry out construction well beyond 10pm,” said Jaisinghani.

Zoru Bathena, a Khar resident said that two sitting high court judges and members of the committee also claimed they were affected by the noise. “The judges directed MMRC to install noise abatement measures at all construction sites, and limit work hours between 8am and 10pm,” he said.

First Published: Feb 04, 2018 01:05 IST