Trying time for the neighbourhood

noise pollution
Last Updated 20 May 2013, 13:59 IST

Building a house isn’t just a chore for its owners — their new neighbours don’t have a great time of it either. With plenty of residential complexes and individual homes springing up in different parts of the City, those who already live in the area have to bear the brunt of the many inconveniences such construction causes — dirt, dust and constant noise, to mention a few.

To tackle this problem, many resident associations have set in place rules that state that construction work has to halt at a certain time in the evening and on weekends. These regulations, however, aren’t implemented very strictly.

One of the biggest problems that residents — especially those who are at home throughout the day — complain about is the noise factor.

Amit, a marketing professional, lives in Rajarajeshwari Nagar, where he says a few gated colonies are currently being constructed. He points out, “Heavy machinery is used at many of these construction sites which causes noise pollution throughout the day. Besides this, the dust and dirt is a huge problem. The workers tend to leave piles of bricks and sand
outside the site, which block the road and add to the general mess.”

To his chagrin, many of the construction sites remain bustling with activity late into the night and on weekends. “Sometimes, they’re working 24 hours a day — it’s hugely inconvenient to the rest of us,” he adds.

Apoorva, a software engineer who lives in Jayanagar, mentions another problem — contractors transport construction material like bricks and cement to the site in large trucks, which proceed to park haphazardly on the road and block traffic.

“The trucks come to a halt outside the site on the pavement and pose a problem to people who live nearby. However, this is the sort of thing that can’t be controlled — we can’t stop people from constructing homes,” she reasons.

For many residents, wariness of nearby construction projects goes beyond issues like dirt and noise. Some of them point out that it poses a threat to their security as well.

   Manisha, who lives in Doddanekkundi, explains, “Most contractors employ large groups of workers without verifying their backgrounds — many of them come from places across the country and there’s no one to vouch for them in Bangalore. When it comes to large projects, like apartment complexes, contractors generally board them near the site, which effectively means they move in to the area.”

She goes on to add that because of this, petty theft and mild law-and-order problems can’t be ruled out.

“Some of them get drunk at night and hang around in the neighbourhood. It isn’t uncommon to hear of houses being broken into either. If contractors kept a better watch on their employees, this might not be the case. The fact, sadly, is that they don’t care,” she says.

When it comes to milder inconveniences, though, many residents adopt a philosophy of tolerance.

Apoorva points out, “To a certain extent, we have to deal with these problems.

After all, others went through the same issues when we were building our homes.

Generally, the new owners offer to clean up the mess once the work is done. And to keep peace in the neighbourhood, most of us tolerate any inconvenience in the interim period.”

(Published 20 May 2013, 13:59 IST)

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