VIJAYAWADA: Lack of traffic sense, usage of vacuum horns in RTC buses and the craze for trendy horns among youth have become a nuisance to the residents. There has been a phenomenal rise in noise pollution in the city.
According to the ambient air quality standards of Andhra Pradesh Pollution Control Board (APPCB), the limits of sound, which are measured in decibels, are categorised based upon industrial, commercial, residential and silence zones.
The permissible limits for noise in commercial and residential zones during the daytime, are 65 decibels and 55 decibels respectively. The noise level, however, touches 73 (average) decibels on a regular basis, with PCB officials attributing the major reason to lack of traffic sense among the citizens. Statistics available with the Transport Department also tell the same as the highest revenue for the department is being generated in fines collected from defective horns and silencers.
B Nagi Reddy, senior environmental scientist at APPCB, said most of the vehicles did not comply with the norms and the RTC bus drivers are using vacuum horns. The youth are experimenting with trendy horns that are not only causing sound pollution but also health hazards to people.
“Lack of traffic sense among the citizens especially youth is a major concern,” he added.
According to the statistics obtained from the Transport Department, more than two lakh vehicles operate in the city of which a majority of the cases are booked against usage of air horn and multi-tone horns. A senior official at the Regional Transport Authority (RTA) said, “Every month, at least 1,000 cases were booked against vehicles that do not comply with pollution norms which include defective horns.”
When asked about RTC buses, he said, “We do not book cases against RTC as it is a government body. We have cautioned them on the hazards and currently some buses are equipped with bulb horns.”
Deputy commissioner (traffic) SK Babu told Express that awareness levels on traffic sense was poor among the citizens and also pointed out that unauthorised dealers of horns were mainly responsible for this condition.
“Stringent action will be taken against them,” he added.