It is not just air, even noise pollution is high in Bengaluru


Increasing commercial activity blamed for rising noise levels in residential areas

Bengaluru, which figured on the list of 150 most polluted cities in the world in the recently released urban air pollution database of the World Health Organisation (WHO), has more to worry about than just air pollution. Noise pollution levels, too, have been consistently higher than permissible limits, especially in the residential and sensitive areas.

Air pollution levels monitored by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) during 2015–16 show that the respirable suspended particulate matter (RSPM) values exceeded the national ambient air quality standards (60 μg/m{+3}) in the range of 20 to 215 per cent.

The RSPM levels near two hospitals in the city — Victoria and the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health Hospital in NIMHANS — had also exceeded the desired levels by 66 and 88 per cent, respectively.

The irony, though, was in the noise pollution levels, which were constantly above limits in residential and sensitive areas, more so during the night time. Noise levels in industrial areas, on the other hand, stayed within limits. Apart from having higher permitted levels, KSPCB officials said activity in these areas was concentrated around certain durations, with most people coming to work and leaving at around the same time. “On the other hand, activities are spread across the day in residential and commercial areas,” a senior official explained.

KSPCB officials attributed the rising noise levels in many residential areas across the city to increasing commercial activity seeping in.

Nitin Sheshadri, a resident of Koramangala who has been crusading against commercialisation of residential areas, said it was no surprise that residential areas were beating industrial ones in pollution levels.

“It is a twin problem. Commercialisation brings in more traffic into residential areas, and with this pollution owing to the extra footfall. The additional traffic is contributing heavily to the noise level. In addition, industrial generators are being used in restaurants, eateries and spaces which need 24x7 power backup, which do not apply to these conditions,” he said, and added that in Koramangala, pubs and bars were affecting the residents.

KPSCB chairman Lakshman said the noise levels were especially higher during the peak hours owing to the traffic and slow movement of vehicles. “We are getting complaints from residents near small commercial establishments, shops and restaurants. We are regularly monitoring wherever we are getting complaints from, controlling the noise level in generator sets. Notices have also been issued to many to rectify the diesel sets,” he said.

It is no surprise

that residential

areas are beating industrial ones in pollution levels

Nitin Sheshadri,

a resident of Koramangala

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2019 9:38:15 AM |

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