HYDERABAD: It's not something worth making a noise about. But Old City which has always charmed with its rush and crowd, has gained a new kind of infamy to tag along into the new year.
As per latest data for 2011 released by the APPCB, Abids near Old City, has recorded an average noise value of 80.05 db with a peak level of 96 db, while Charminar has recorded an average noise value of 80.48 db, with the peak level touching 95.30 db. Both regions have thus been crowned noisiest neighbourhoods in the city. The peak levels were recorded in the month of November last year, a period of many festivals.
And giving company to these noise polluters are the traditional busy streets of Panjagutta and Paradise which registered peak noise level of 92.40 db.
After recording highest peak and average values for the year 2009 and 2010, this was after two years in the lead, that Panjagutta finally let its top slot slip.
The good news though, is that the average noise value continues to remain in the safe zone (<85 db) and has dropped by 2 db to 74 db, down from 76 db recorded in 2010.
Other metros such as Chennai and Mumbai constantly see noise levels crossing 95 db. Dr Ravi Cheran, ENT Specialist with Kamineni Hospitals though, opines, “People living close to the busy junctions are the ones most affected by the commonly occurring senso-neural deafness.
Those in the interiors are not affected much. But in a city like Hyderabad its difficult to expect noise levels to come down drastically. And that's why its commendable that a drop in 2 db has been recorded over the past one year.” Environmentalist Prasanna Kumar expressed surprise at the drop in decibel levels and was clueless as to what could have led to the same.
The data are collected over a period of one year using noise meters with the aim to study noise patterns at busy junctions of the city.
The relatively new digital pollution monitors installed by the Central PCB early last year have also helped the cause. Located at Jeedimetla, Panjagutta, Abids, Jubilee Hills and Zoopark, its vantage locations enable the public and officials to record real time noise levels in the city anytime of the day. The APPCB plans to install five more similar noise meters in the city within a few months time.