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Silk City Continues to Reel under Dust, Sound Pollution Despite Norms

Already reeling under the problems of stray animals and mosquitoes, Silk City is facing acute pollution of dust and sound.

Published: 24th February 2014 10:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 24th February 2014 10:54 AM   |  A+A-

Already reeling under the problems of stray animals and mosquitoes, Silk City is facing acute pollution of dust and sound. Usually roads are swept during wee hours in urban areas for posing minimum problem to the residents, but now-a-days it is done in busy hours. Similarly, the sound of vehicle horns or loudspeaker sets of religious buildings blaring for at least 18 hours a day worries citizens.

The irony is that as per the findings of Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) regional office here, air and sound pollution is much higher than the acceptable limits in most areas of the city. But the pollution control office has allegedly not taken any step except writing letters to Berhampur Municipal Corporation for remedial measures.

The office claimed to have measured air pollution twice a week in the city through Respirable Dust Sample machine at its office. In each measure, presence of dust particles and other pollutants in the air in residential areas of the city was found to be higher than the acceptable limits.

Against the acceptable limit of 100 microns of dust in residential areas, the machine detected around 160 microns. The officials claim that their duty is to inform the local administration which is supposed to initiate measures to reduce air pollution.

The main cause of air pollution is dust on the roads which are not cleaned regularly. The SPCB office had suggested to remove dust from roads at regular intervals and sprinkle water to suppress the dust and foul odour but to no avail.

Similarly, sound pollution is high in the city which increases manifold during marriage or festive season. SPCB office sources said the sound should not exceed 55 decibel during day and 45 decibel at night.

But in most of the areas of the city, one can find loudspeakers mounted on religious buildings blaring at a level of around 60 decibel during day. Besides, during marriage and festive season, sound pollution has been recorded at 61 to 65 decibel throughout the day.

Even the hospitals and educational institutions are not free from dust and sound pollution.

When contacted, a BMC health official claimed that in order to contain dust, roads are swept twice a day. “While the first phase cleaning starts from wee hours and ends before roads get crowded, the second shift begins at afternoon,” he said and added that the problem of dust and sound pollution is due to lack of awareness among the citizens.

Citing instances, he said despite restrictions, some residents dump house construction materials on the roadside which frequently create dust. “Besides, people  throw the waste of their house on the roads.

The BMC is contemplating to impose fine on such violators. For using loudspeakers, there is a rule to seek permission from the revenue and police officials. However, both the air and sound pollution can be checked if a joint team of SPCB, BMC and revenue officials conduct raids,” he said.



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