As one travels on any busy road in Bangalore, the steady noise of honking of vehicles is almost ubiquitous.
But what is troublesome and shocking is that these noise levels are well above the permissible limits which can be detrimental to health. Metrolife speaks to the concerned authorities and the general public to find out ways to curb this problem.
The acceptable limits as prescribed by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is 65 decibels. But at the various junctions and commercial areas, it goes beyond this — up to 105 decibels! Says A S Sadashivaiah, Chairman of Karnataka State Pollution and Control Board, “At any commercial area, the noise levels should not exceed 65 decibels during the day and 50 decibels in the night. But from the data we have collected, we found out that at areas like MG Road, Cubbon Road and Brigade Road, the noise levels are well over 105 decibels.”
For the purpose of monitoring noise levels, there are five noise monitoring centres in the City at Church Street, Basaveshwarnagar, Peenya, BTM Layout and Marathahalli and the authorities are planning to introduce five more. He adds, “We monitor noise levels over a specific period and generate data which will be sent to the government after which they will be able to take further action.”
But many feel this is a never-ending problem given the steep increase in the number of vehicles. Says Vincent, who stays near Wilson Garden, “Compared to a few years back, the situation is definitely deteriorating. This can be mainly attributed to the increase in the number of vehicles because of late, the purchasing power has also increased.” But what can be the long term solution to this? Vincent says, “The government should make a rule restricting more than two vehicles in a family. Nowadays, one can find more than three to four vehicles owned by a family of just two people which is really ridiculous!”
Another solution that can necessarily bring about a reduction in traffic and thereby reduce noise levels is to make public transport popular. Says Naveen, “There is so much chaos on the roads. The authorities should plan everything in a manner which ensures free-flowing traffic. I am sure most of the problems can be solved if the roads and signals are in proper condition.” However, we as individuals too have a role to play. It is the responsibility of every person to help do their bit to improve the situation. Says Aswani Kumar, who stays near Bannerghatta Road, “Bringing an awareness among the people is the need of the hour. We cannot just play the blame game and say the authorities have to do something. Each one of us should think radically about how we can co-operate with them to make the situation better.”