The Pollution Control Board (PCB) would set up a noise-monitoring station within the premises of the Greater Cochin Development Authority (GCDA) office in Kadavanthra, thanks to the increasing awareness on the health hazards posed by exposure to noise pollution, and the frequent directives by the Kerala High Court to enforce no-horn regulations.
This is close on the heels of the Board installing such a station on the premises of the international airport in Thiruvananthapuram to keep a tab on noise pollution.
A proposal mooted about a decade ago to install decibel meters at Vyttila and other busy junctions in the city with private participation to monitor noise pollution caused mainly by vehicles remains on paper despite interventions by the Hight Court and campaigns by IMA against indiscriminate honking that could even cause temporary deafness.
Sources in the PCB, which set up air-quality monitoring stations at a few locations in the city, said the agency could share its expertise in setting up decibel meters. This equipment and more sophisticated noise-monitoring systems would cost just a couple of lakh rupees, depending on parameters like their data-storage capacity. The noise level must not ideally exceed 65 db in commercial areas, they added.
The IMA had tied up with, among other organisations, EDRAAC to host awareness programmes on the ill-effects of noise pollution. They included observance of No-Horn Days, as part of the National Initiative for Safe Sound (NISS).
State Coordinator of NISS and ENT surgeon V.D. Pradeep Kumar said doctors under the banner of IMA and others have been demanding establishment of no-horn zones in the vicinity of educational institutions, courts, hospitals and places of worship. “This could well be tried out on MG Road and Park Avenue Road, which have innumerable such institutions. We had suggested that sign boards be erected well in advance to forewarn motorists of such zones.”
He spoke of how noise measuring as high as 105 db was measured four years ago at High Court Junction, when a survey was conducted by IMA and students of SCMS at nine spots in the city for two days. Enforcement agencies must have the will power to implement noise pollution norms. This must be enforced in letter and spirit on Kaloor-Kadavanthra road that is due for conversion as a model road and in Thammanam-Pullepady road that is due for widening and extension, he said.