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‘Noise mapping urgently needed in Mumbai’

Mumbai, India: A noise mapping study could help the city plan in Mumbai how to tackle noise pollution, observed Sumaira Abdulali, convenor of the Awaaz Foundation. Abdulali said, “In the case of noise monitoring stations, data produced has limited use on its own since it represents a few fixed locations. It can be used as a baseline to generate data for the rest of the city and verified for integration in a noise map. Noise mapping is a scientific method to understand existing and projected noise levels. It should be carried out immediately and its recommendations integrated into the next development plan.”

According to a recent comparative analysis released by the Central Pollution Control Board, Mumbai is noisier than Delhi, Chennai and Bangalore in India and the busiest parts of London, New York and Beijing.

In most other countries, noise is recognised as a serious health hazard and sustained efforts are made to keep it in check, but not in India. Gatherings of various kinds are sought to be excluded from noise pollution rules; often these are commercial or political functions or in the guise of ‘religion’ or ‘tradition’. Traffic discipline is not followed and horns are used unnecessarily. Silencers in rickshaws are tampered with to get a better fuel consumption rate, which also necessitates louder horns. There are no guidelines to mandate maximum sound levels at construction sites, noise barriers around such sites, silencers on equipment, working hours, etc.

Noise barriers are effective in reducing traffic noise. But in some cases they can block air and light when residential buildings are very close to the noise source. They would be effective where buildings are further away.

Source: Hindustan Times