BENGALURU: To reduce noise pollution due to vehicles honking, the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has recently sent a proposal to the Bengaluru Traffic Police to announce no-honking zones on Brigade Road, Cunningham Road and Commercial Street. This decision comes in the wake of a study carried out by the board which established that the decibel levels on these roads in the Central Business District was way above permissible levels.
A senior KSPCB official told The New Indian Express, “We have submitted a proposal in this connection to the traffic police recently and are waiting to hear from them. If they accept it, it will be a relief to many shoppers as well as vehicle users using these areas which have high footfall.”
Asked about the possibility of declaring these streets honk-free, Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, B R Ravinkanthegowda said that it was important to reduce unnecessary honking on roads. “We already have a few no-honking zones in the city. The proposal submitted to us is under consideration,” he said.
Though the study was conducted by the KSPCB much earlier (June 10 to June 14), it seems to have submitted its recommendations only recently. According to the study, the accident rates have been zero on these roads as per records from the Traffic Management Department and they are not accident prone. “There is no need for honking by drivers or riders here.”
According to the study, on Brigade Road, the maximum noise level was 96.7 dB and the minimum was 73.2 dB and this exceeded the permissible limits by 48.76%, the study said. “Likewise on Commercial Street the maximum and minimum noise levels were 104.4 dB and 74.6dB and on Cunningham Road, they were 99.5dB and 78dB respectively. They have exceeded by 61% in Commercial Street and by 53% in Cunningham Road,” it pointed out.
The study added, “Even the minimum noise levels on all three roads were found to be higher than the Standard 65dB during day time in commercial areas as per the Ambient Air Quality Standards with respect of noise as stated in the noise pollution regulation and control rules, 2000.”
The highest decibel level was found at Commercial Street with 104.4 dB during peak hours, it added.
The official said, “By introducing no honking in these areas, the drivers and riders may have a behavioural change not to honk in other areas too.” The noise pollution caused due to honking results in vertigo for pedestrians as well as sleep deprivation, job stress as well as loss of hearing at a much earlier age than presbycusis (age related hearing loss) for all exposed to it, the official added.