Vijayawada

Rising noise levels leave citizens restless

The noise pollution levels in the city, especially in the residential and commercial pockets, have been rising at an alarming rate troubling residents, said officials at the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board.

“The noise from horns has been a source of severe trouble to us. At peak hours, it becomes difficult for us to stay at home as blaring becomes unbearable,” said Sudhakar Reddy, a resident of Gunadala.

Even residential areas such as Gurunanak Colony, Satyanarayanapuram and Ramavarappadu have fallen prey to this unceasing menace with the pollution levels going 15 to 20 decibels (dB) beyond the prescribed limits. For instance, at Ramavarappadu, the sound pollution levels stood at 74 dB from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. At Satyanarayanapuram and Labbipet, the noise pollution levels touched 71 dB during the day as opposed to the prescribed limit of 55dB.

“One of the reasons for the high levels of pollution could be the increased vehicular traffic post bifurcation of the State,” said B.V. Prasad, junior scientific officer, APPCB.

In commercial areas such as Benz circle, Mogalrajpuram, Besant Road and Kaleswara Rao Market, the noise level crossed the 80 dB mark. Benz Circle and Mogalrajpuram even reported 90 dB at peak hours of traffic.

“The constant rise in the pollution levels can have a devastating effect on health of people, especially women, as they may face hormonal, menstrual and infertility issues. Exposure to such noises can result in skin-related problems such as dermatitis and also lead to a spike in stress levels, leading to raised heart rate and hypertension,” said Dr. A. Archana, pulmonologist at Sri Vaayu Clinic.

“Apart from the four new pollution display boards installed in the city recently, there is one real time noise monitoring station that gives us hourly figures in various parts of the city. Using this technology, we monitor the levels and make efforts to keep it under control,” Mr. Prasad said.

Action plan

In March, the National Green Tribunal had issued an order directing the APPCB to rope in various departments such as Police, Transport and Education to draft an action plan to counter the problem. The board was given time till July 15 to submit the action plan. “Except for the Police department, no other stakeholder has submitted the action plan to fight the problem. Ultimately, we had to draft an action plan on their behalf and submit it to the Central Pollution Control Board. In case we do not receive a reply from the CPCB in a few weeks, we will roll out the action plan across all departments,” he added.

As per the action plan, the APPCB will be responsible for procuring noise level monitoring devices and implementation of noise rules and regulations. The Police and the Transport departments will act against owners and manufacturers of vehicles, who install high sound producing horns. The civic body and the Education department will take charge of spreading awareness at various educational institutions and amongst vehicle owners about the ill-effects of these sounds.


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Printable version | Jun 15, 2021 1:07:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/rising-noise-levels-leave-citizens-restless/article29527041.ece

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