Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Noise levels alarmingly high

Vinayashree Jagadeesh

It touches 106 decibels in Marathahalli, Bangalore

A phenomenal increase in the city’s vehicular density appears to have cranked up decibel levels (dB) to well above permissible limits.
The permissible limits for noise in commercial and residential areas are 65 dB and 55 dB respectively, but noise levels touched a high of 106 dB in Marathahalli commercial area, while BTM Layout residential area recorded 81.3 dB in July, according to figures provided by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) to the High Court on Monday.
Noise levels were also monitored in Church Street, Peenya industrial area and S.G. Halli residential area. The noise pollution can be attributed to the increase in vehicles, say KSPCB sources. The city has around 52 lakh registered vehicles, according to the police.
Of the 7,540 vehicles checked, as many as 1,702 cases were booked in just 10 days this month by special squads of the Transport Department, formed following the court’s directive. They also booked 280 BMTC buses for noise pollution. Similarly, the city traffic police booked 4,368 cases against vehicles, which includes BMTC buses during the same period.
The KSPCB submitted these figures to the High Court of Karnataka, which had taken up a suo motu case after observing that noise pollution had become a “serious” problem in Bangalore.
The court had ordered the constitution of a committee comprising various governing agencies to curb noise pollution. Ten special squads had been formed by the Transport Department. The committee, headed by the member secretary of KSPCB, includes members of the Transport Department, BBMP, city and traffic police and the BDA.
“The committee, formed about two months ago, held various meetings during which a number of suggestions were put forth by the different agencies. These have been compiled, and an affidavit listing these suggestions was submitted requesting the high court to formulate guidelines and issue them to the government authorities,” KSPCB chairman Vaman Acharya said.


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