VIJAYAWADA: Noise pollution levels at major localities in Vijayawada, including residential and commercial areas, were well above the permissible extent in January and February. Health experts warned of serious consequences such as high blood pressure, hearing impairment, cardiological and neurological diseases in people of areas exposed to noise pollution.
Speaking to TNIE, Andhra Loyola College physics lecturer and environmentalist T Sri Kumar said noise pollution levels in Vijayawada increased rapidly after it became a part of State capital Amaravati.
Recently, students formed four teams and carried out a study on noise pollution using an android mobile phone application called ‘Noise Capture’ in 23 localities including residential, commercial, and industrial areas across the city. The study was carried out in a phased manner from 9 am to 11 am and 6 pm to 10 pm.
Shattering the common belief that only industrial and commercial regions of the city needed to worry about noise pollution, the study showed that residential areas like Gurunanak Colony, Veterinary Colony, Ajith Singh Nagar and Yanamalakuduru are not much behind when it came to increase in noise pollution levels by 10 to 20 decibels (dB), he said. In commercial areas like Benz Circle, Besant Road, Vijaya Talkies, Police Control Room, Kaleswara Rao Market, Ramavarappadu and near the Railway station, noise pollution levels had increased by 15 to 30 dB. Overall, Benz Circle registered the highest level, 110 decibels, during the peak hours of the day as against 65 dB during the rest of the day and 55 dB during the night. Emphasising the devastating effect this level of noise pollution has on people’s health, the environmentalist said, “Women face hormonal, menstrual and infertility issues. Exposure to this level of noise pollution results in dermatitis and skin-related problems. However, they are often mistaken for psoriasis.’’
When asked about the role of pollution control department officials in controlling the situation, Sri Kumar said, “Why should people suffer with health ailments caused due to noise pollution?” He called upon the transport department to conduct raids on people using air horns and urged the civic body officials to ensure that necessary steps be taken for developing greenery in the city.
“The department monitored the ‘Ambient Noise’ in January and February and found out that noise pollution levels at industrial and commercial areas were well above the permissible limit,” said an official of the Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB) on the condition of anonymity.
As per the standards of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the optimum noise levels are fixed at 45 dB for residential localities, 55 dB for commercial areas, 40 dB for silent zones and 70 dB for industrial areas, he said. The official claimed that the noise pollution was being caused due to the increasing number of vehicles by 15 to 20 per cent. The human population was also increasing by 5 per cent per annum in the city, he said. Honking is one of the many reasons for an increase in noise pollution levels in city. Public should follow the ‘no sound rule’ to contribute to the environment, he added.