VISAKHAPATNAM: Being an industrial and commercial hub, noise pollution is not a new concept to Port City. Rapid increase of vehicular population and commercial works has made noise levels cross the permissible limits over the years, and one of the reasons being cited for the same is unnecessary honking of automobile horns.
While the GOs say that the horns of motorcycles and heavy vehicles should not be more than 5 to 10 decibels, it has been observed that it is actually much higher than the permissible limits.
The National Highway, being the centre of the city, is more often than not the actual reason behind the ever-increasing honking problem. Areas like Venkojipalem, Maddilapalem Junction, RTC Complex Junction, NAD Road, Jagadamba Junction and other major thoroughfares are regularly facing honking menace. The residential areas located in the surrounding areas of the aforementioned junctions are being affected by noise pollution as well.
People in the residential areas in and around MVP Colony, Seethammadhara, Maddilapalem, NAD Junction, Akkayyapalem and Dabagardens are facing several health problems of late. The honking menace even did not spare the silent zones such as hospitals. The KGH area is one of the noisiest areas due to regular movement of RTC buses and motorcycles, say experts.
Recent observations by an NGO, India Youth for Society (IYS) revealed some interesting and unusual facts about the honking problem. The RTC buses blow horns to avoid auto-rickshaws and motorists, while the riders of two and four-wheelers sound horns during traffic jams and at traffic signals, in a hurry to reach their destination. Different sounds of these horns are also leading to noise pollution. Against this backdrop, a campaign was organised recently by the IYS members and students of Mahathi College, during which they brought awareness among motorists on honking at major junctions in the city. Responding to this, Andhra University former professor in Politics and Centre for Policy Studies convener A Prasanna Kumar says that he wishes to see a ‘quieter Visakhapatnam’, even as two-wheelers are using truck horns nowadays, which is causing more inconvenience to road users.
It can be said that honking claims a major share in the percentile of noise pollution followed by industrial noise and rapid commercialisation in the city. Even at traffic signals, people tend to blow horns, especially when there is a red signal, he observed. From the studies revealed by Andhra University, it can be known that industrial zones, commercial zones, residential and even silent zones are being affected by honking as the decibel levels in that area have highly increased.