News Home » City » Pune
Bike silenc-errs shudder citizens
TNN | Jan 10, 2016, 01.08 PM IST
Pune: Aditya Ranade's 10-month-old daughter finds it difficult to sleep during the day and the night, and it's got nothing to do with being fretful.
The thundering of superbikes passing by Ranade's roadside home in Mayur Colony in Kothrud is the cause of her discomfort. The family is edgy, yet helpless against the growing menace of the noisy superbikes, many of them with silencers modified for that peculiar rattling effect.
The number of superbikes, or those priced upwards of Rs 5 lakh, have steadily increased in the city in the last three years. Besides their overwhelming looks and superior performance, many are notorious for the amount of sound they generate when in motion. "My daughter wakes up howling whenever a superbike passes on the road. After 8pm, several of them zip across our house one after another. The noise is unbearable and is disturbing for my parents too. The deafening noise they generate also drowns the sound of the television," Ranade said.
Police must crack down against the bike owners, he added. "The noise is far above the limits permissible in residential areas. There is clearly some tampering done by the bike owners who may have got the silencers intentionally modified," he said.
Motorcycle companies are in cohorts with the buyers, alleged senior citizen Sudhir Lalye, a resident of Ramnagar Colony on NDA-Pashan Road.
"I go for my evening walk to Necklace Garden around 6.30pm. The amount of noise that a superbike generates after passing by hurts my ears, as well as those of my friends. I once approached a dealer of one such premium bike company near my house who admitted that they get a lot of requests for modifying silencers. He told me about fittings like an Indori Phataka to the silencer for Rs 2,500 to Rs 4,000. Most bike owners are young boys who give two hoots about the law and use their vehicles to lord it over the road. The traffic police should act against them," he said.
Deeksha Bannerjee of Sus Road said the superbike in her residential compound made such a noise that they are forced to shut their ears when it is being driven. "In fact, it can be heard even when it has reached the main road. I wonder how the owner tolerates all that noise which is irritating and disorienting," she added.
Admitting that noisy bikes are a nuisance, deputy commissioner of police (traffic) Sarang Awad, said, "The noise levels are definitely high and can be very disturbing, especially at night, early mornings and on weekends. We take action against all such bike owners who intentionally modify their silencers. They must certainly desist from disturbing citizens in residential areas and around hospitals."
The traffic police have taken action against 234 such offenders in 2015, their records reveal. The bikers are charged under section 190 (2) of the Motor Vehicle Act, which pertains to improper modifications to vehicles. The fine for modifications, in this case changes made to the silencer, could be up to Rs 1,000. They are also punished for causing a public nuisance.
Recommended By Colombia Enforcement is key
Sumaira Abdulali, founder of Awaaz Foundation that works against noise pollution, said the maximum sound permitted for all types of vehicles is 85 dB. "The noise levels of the modified silencers are more than that, so they are clearly illegal. It is up to the traffic police to enforce the rule, impound the vehicle if need be, just like they would act for any other safety violation of the Motor Vehicles Act. The excessive noise of modified silencers is not only irritating to those who are forced to be exposed to it, but also equally dangerous, even healthwise, for the bike owner who is exposed to it," she added.
Bad for the bike
Altering the silencer also affects the performance of the bike, said Rashmi Urdhwareshe, director of the city-based Automotive Research Association of India. "Silencers and exhaust handling systems control the engine noise and emissions. It is critical that the silencer fitted by the manufacturer is not tampered with. Any change is an unauthorized fitting. Such an alteration often leads to deterioration in emission performance and fuel efficiency. Authorities should keep a close watch on noisy vehicles, besides conducting awareness among youths," she said.
Times of India
News Home » City » Mumbai
No lessons learnt: Poor quality of air on first day of new year in Mumbai
Vinamrata BorwankarJan 2, 2016, 01.10 AM IST
Mumbai: The city started its new year on a bad note with the recorded pollution levels in the poor category on the very first day.
According to System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research (SAFAR), Mumbai recorded an air quality index (AQI) of 300 on Friday, down from
Thursday's 305. The day after Diwali in 2015 had recorded an AQI of 313.
Despite the high temperatures during the day, the AQI has remained in the poor category for the past few days.
The AQI uses 24-hour averages of pollutants, including sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide, ozone and particulate matter. "In the 24-hour average AQI that we calculate we are getting higher pollutant concentrations during the night when temperatures drop as the pollutants get trapped closer to the surface. Due to this, the AQI has been similar to the days of Diwali when the emissions are much higher," said Neha Parkhi, senior programme officer of SAFAR.
There has also been a change in AQI patterns at various suburbs in the past few days. While Bandra-Kurla Complex and Colaba would record AQIs in the good to moderate category, on Friday, it was 356 and 308 respectively. "This could be due to a change in the activity on the ground or a slight change in wind pattern. For instance, if burning wood has increased in the area owing to the cold, it could result in rise of pollutants," said Parkhi.
Mumbai may not be able to fight the pollution using Delhi's odd-even number plate route as vehicular pollution accounts for less than 6% of particulate matter (PM10) in the city, according to the Air Quality Assessment, Emissions Inventory & Source Apportionment Studies for Mumbai carried out by the Central Pollution Control Board and National Environmental Engineering Research Institute. Paved and unpaved road dust—together at 29%—is the largest source of particulate matter.
Environmentalists feel bursting firecrackers to bring in the new year adding to the pollution levels when the city is already having such bad weather quality and other sources of pollution. "This shows that there is no sincerity in tackling the problem. In fact, politicians are themselves conducting firecracker displays. There are many other ways to usher in the new year," said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.
News Home » City » Mumbai
Noise levels at Mahim Fair higher than Eid processions, says NGO
Vinamrata Borwankar | TNN | Dec 26, 2015, 01.46 AM IST
MUMBAI: Noise levels on the first day of the Mahim Fair, which commended on Friday, were higher than those at Eid-e-Milad processions.
Policemen, who attend the event in Mahim, don't seem to be interested in enforcing the guidelines on curbing noise pollution, said activist Sumaira Abdulali.
The decibel (dB) level at the Mahim Fair on Friday was 119.9, while the same at Thursday's Eid-e-Milad processions was 103.5.
During the Eid-e-Milad processions across the city, the highest noise level recorded by Awaaz Foundation at Byculla bridge (103.5 dB) was lower than last year's highest reading of 113.6 dB recorded near JJ Hospital.
However, at the 10-day Mahim Fair, the highest recorded noise level of 119.9 dB was higher than 118 dB on the first day of the event in 2014. On the inaugural day of the fair, the Mahim police lead the 'sandal' procession of the Urs of Makhdoom Shah Baba at Mahim dargah.
"It is unfortunate that the police, charged with enforcing the noise pollution rules, are the first to violate them at the Mahim Fair every year. This year, in spite of repeated complaints and requests to control noise, no action has been taken at all," Sumaira Abdulali, the convener of Awaaz Foundation, said. She has written to the chief minister's office and commissioner of police.
Police officials told TOI that they would look into the matter. Joint police commissioner (law & order) Deven Bharti said, "This is a tradition that has been going on for ages. There is nobody to check the decibel level but I will definitely look into it."
The organizers of the event said that efforts were being made to reduce noise levels.
"We had many volunteers reaching out to households telling them about the ill-effects of noise pollution. We have told people that playing loud music is against Islam and the law. We have been able to effectively bring down noise levels during Eid-e-Milad in the last few years," said Sohail Khandwani, managing trustee of Mahim Dargah.
GB Road turns to be the noisiest stretch: Study
Manoj Badgeri | TNN | Dec 17, 2015, 10.35 AM IST
Thane: A study undertaken by the TMC's pollution control board has revealed that residential stretches along Ghodbunder Road are fast becoming one of the noisiest stretches in Thane.
The noise level readings published in the Environmental Status Report 2014-15 has had activists blaming the rapid urbanization, rise in traffic and reducing green cover for the excessive decibel levels. The entire residential stretch located along either sides of the GB road show massive noise levels (see box). As per the study, six out of ten spots in the city show noise levels exceeding the prescribed limits.
"The stretch along GB road is witnessing large scale construction activities plus the traffic has also increased here so it is obvious the noise levels would be higher," says Sumaira Abdulali, an anti-noise pollution activist. Eco-activist Ajay Marathe says the loss of trees could be one major reason why the sound levels are higher in urban areas like Thane.
"Even a 10 db rise is equal to 100 per cent increase of damage and such high levels of noise pollution should not be neglected. Small children and senior citizens are the most susceptible lot and pregnant women can also be affected to some extent," cautioned said Dr Pradeep Uppal, ENT surgeon.