Time to bring down the din: CPCB
The CPCB also reiterated that noise pollution sources such as public address systems, marriage functions and diesel generator sets should be monitored and regulated (File Photo)
DNA CORRESPONDENT | Mon, 20 Feb 2017-07:50am , New Delhi , DNA
Pollution watchdog directs nine metros, including Delhi and Mumbai, to act against vehicular noise and set up control rooms
Soon, traffic police across nine cities will begin to fine motorists using pressure horns and confiscate these devices. Following assessment of the worrying levels of noise pollution across the cities, the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) has issued this direction among a host of others to bring down the din.
CPCB, the country’s pollution watchdog, has issued these directions under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, to pollution control boards and traffic police force in Delhi, Mumbai, Thane, Navi Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bengaluru and Lucknow.
There are 70 real-time monitoring stations across these nine cities and based on consolidated data from them, CPCB found that in all cities noise levels are breached over 90 per cent of the times.
In the assessment report, Chennai was found to be the noisiest city followed by Hyderabad and Mumbai, based on the high rate of noise limit violations across locations.
The CPCB has said that no vehicles should be allowed to use power, pressure and musical horns. Violators have to be fined and the horns have to be confiscated by enforcement authorities.
Further, the watchdog has also directed that control rooms should be established to resolve noise related public grievances. The assessment revealed that residential areas are as noisy and at some locations more than the industrial areas. Thus, small industrial activity breaching noise levels in residential areas will face action.
CPCB officials said the new directions have been issued looking at the unsatisfactory implementation of noise standards and the large contribution of vehicles in noise pollution. “The directions have to be implemented by state boards and the traffic police,” said a senior CPCB official.
The CPCB also reiterated that noise pollution sources such as public address systems, marriage functions and diesel generator sets should be monitored. There should be no noise after the 10pm deadline, as is imposed by the SC.
Anti-noise activists welcomed the plan to fine pollution emanating from horns but added that with more data available, urban planning should happen with noise levels in mind. “Authorities need to chalk out a larger plan to curb noise from all festivals, construction activity,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation, an anti-noise advocacy group.
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Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.