T. Lalith Singh
Data shows peak noise levels at this intersection
Paradise, Charminar are close to Punjagutta with 85.84 dB
They are followed by Abids with noise levels of 85.47 dB
HYDERABAD: The city is teeming with vehicles and each day one gets to see more two-wheelers and four-wheelers added to the fleet. The sharp rise in the number of vehicles on the city roads, apart from throwing up snarls at almost every major intersection and affecting the ambient air quality also is a cause for escalating noise levels.
While not able to grab attention like other parameters, noise is a major pollution factor and data recorded at the different city centres indicate that the levels have crossed the threshold and are rising. Among the points that are covered for monitoring by the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), the busy junction of Punjagutta top the list as the noisiest centre.
From January to October this year, the PCB data shows the peak noise levels at this intersection as 86.08 dB. Incidentally, Punjagutta has major health institutions located in close vicinities and naturally seek a demarcation as silent zones where the permissible limits ought to be 40 dB. However, even the average values recorded here remain above 80 dB.
Given the harmful consequences resulting from the high decibels, the Union Ministry had come out with The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000 as per which zones are to be created as industrial, commercial, residential and silent.
Even against a standard of 65 dB, the noise levels at intersections could be seen as higher by 20 dB at most monitoring points. In terms of peak averages, Paradise and Charminar are close to Punjagutta with a reading that stands at 85.84 dB and are closely followed by Abids whose noise levels have touched 85.47 dB. The increasing traffic flow between Jubilee Hills and Madhapur apparently has pushed the KBR Park area too into noisy zone with the levels having reached 74.50 dB. While this being the situation here, the Zoo Park which is located almost on the city edge has a reading of 72.46 dB.
The increased noise levels are known to disturb the quality of life and result in a series of health problems and also contribute to mental illness.
The commonly cited problems are hearing impairment, rise in blood pressure and changes in respiratory system.