Shush! Noisy neighbourhoods outdo industrial areas

Dangerous decibels

Noise pollution

Noise pollution is turning out to be a threat as big as air pollution itself, if statistics are anything to go by.

According to a recent analysis by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), noise pollution is more in residential areas and notified silent zones when compared to industrial areas.

KSPCB member secretary Manoj Kumar said it was a matter of worry. He said decibel levels were high in residential areas because of the increasing commercial activities there and the mixed categories of zones.

The regulations are more stringent in industrial areas, where there is more discipline in the movement of vehicles, parking and industry operations, which has ensured a check in noise pollution.

But that is not the case in residential and commercial areas.

In fact, the silent zones — around educational institutions, hospitals, courts and religious places — have become more noisy, said another senior KSPCB official.

According to the Pollution Control Board data, noise pollution was 57.5% more in the Indira Gandhi Institute of Child Health (Nimhans), which is a sensitive area, in the month of September.

It was 19.3% high in Teri Office, Domlur, a residential area; 52% more in BTM layout, 17.1% more in SG Halli; 10.3% more on Church Street; 15% at Yeshwanthpur police station and within limits at Whitefield and Peenya Industrial area. These levels were recorded at night when traffic tends to be less.

As per standards, noise pollution levels in residential areas should be 55 decibels, 65 in commercial areas, 50 in sensitive areas and 75 in industrial areas.

Air pollution also high

Residential areas presented a bleak picture on air pollution front, too. Manoj Kumar said while the situation was getting better in industrial areas, air pollution was increasing in residential and commercial areas.

This is another indication of the impact that the increasing mixed zones have on the environment, calling for serious action by the government.

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