Noise Pollution in Mumbai and the noise-mapping project- several Indian cities face similar problems

noise pollution.

Mumbai noise pollution.
Like countless cities across the world, the Central and State governments in India are deeply concerned about  high levels of air pollution in metro cities. The violation of certain regulations  goes either unnoticed or the violators are let off with minimum punishment. Lurking in many  Indian metro cities are the alarming levels of noise pollution  with no proper solution in sight. The violators use all kinds of excuses and they do not care about school zones, hospital zones, etc. This being due to lack of severe punishments or fines running into more than Rs.5000.00 if the law breakers  do not respect govt. regulations and lack responsibility toward the civil society.
A 2016 report by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) measured sound levels at 740 of 1,200 locations across the city  said that most locations are noisier than the safe limit.  This revelation came from an ongoing mapping of sound levels in the city in 2016.
The report said: “We found that a majority of the locations recorded noise levels at an average of 75dB during the day and 65dB at night, irrespective of silence or residential zones.
The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, specified certain limits for  residential and silence zones — areas around schools, hospitals and religious shrines - should have a maximum noise level of 55dB and 50dB in the day and 45dB and 40dB at night. But Mumbai has the dubious distinction of being the India’s noisiest city according to the Central Pollution Control Board 2016.  It is a common sense and health experts say that “Excessive noise from sources such as car horns can cause various health  cardio-vascular problems, loss of sleep, etc. The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) said ''exposure to high noise levels causes hearing loss, high blood pressure and mental health problems. Dr MV Jagade, consultant ENT surgeon and head of department at JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College is of the 
view ''Exposure to noise pollution above 80 decibels (dB) for 
eight hours a day for eight years will induce permanent deafness. Shorter exposure of higher decibel levels also damages the ear drums.''The noise-mapping project, which began in October in 2015 was completed in the following year and the purpose of it was to know the levels of noise in countless locations  and whether they would fall within the safe noise limit recommended by the WHO.  Upon recommendation by the High Court judge of Maharashtra, the state Govt. had a plan to extend  the noise-mapping project to other major cities across the state. This would help them come out with a suitable and viable solution to cut down the noise level in the cities because  'at stake are physical and mental health problems of city dwellers and those live on the fringe areas.'
This will be done by the municipal corporations  by way of creating different zones residential, silence and commercial zones in the city so that noise rules are not flouted. Further,  excess noise sources will be identified  and this help the authorities cut down the noise level.
Above image:  ''India has a diversified National Ambient Noise Monitoring Network (NANMN) under which there are 70 monitoring stations in seven cities (10 each) - Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Lucknow, Delhi and Mumbai — that carries out continuous noise monitoring throughout the year. Of these 70 monitoring stations, 25 locations are in commercial zones, 12 in industrial, 16 in residential and 17 in silent zones.The study, published in the latest edition of scientific journal Current Science, said, “It was observed that no site lying in commercial or residential or in silent zones met the ambient noise standards.” ''Silence zone consists of hospital and schools areas.Which means, that of the 70 sites, 58 recorded high noise pollution. It also revealed that only 10 industrial sites, 14.3 per cent of the total, met the ambient noise standards.As far as Chennai is concerned, the ambient noise levels have significantly increased over five years in the Eye Hospital, Perambur, T. Nagar and Triplicane noise monitoring stations.“There was no such city where it met the ambient noise standards in all the 10 monitoring stations,” the study added. (vide:
Noise pollution.
01. Noise is  normally measured in decibels.  We are always surrounded by  different kinds of noises every day in the urban or semi urban areas. When the noise level goes beyond the limit  it becomes undesirable to us.  Obviously it affects with our sleep, conversation, ability to think clearly, and other daily activities. In the case of shop keepers and pedestrians, it is hell.  Every global city is in the grip of what is called noise pollution

02. A normal conversation, or background music, is around 60 decibels, household appliances such as air conditioners and air coolers are around 60-68 decibels, a vacuum cleaner is 75 decibels, heavy traffic sounds are around 80-89 decibels and fire crackers and fire arms are around 150 decibels. The last sources of noise need severe restrictions. Noise levels beyond 140 will normally affect the ear cumulatively and at one stage may cause ear pain and damage. 

03. The general consensus has been that  any sounds above 85 decibels, in general, are harmful to our health . Prolonged exposure to high decibel noises may lead to several health issues, most noticeable being birth defects in children and heart problem.

04. In Tamil Nadu, in certain places, when there is a death in a family,  when the body is taken  along the way to the Mayanam- cremation ground, the family members or some friends light powerful crackers unmindful of  crowded bazaars or hospital areas  where there may be  heart patients undergoing treatment. 

05. This is also true of some Hindu religious groups  when they take out a procession of God or goddess along the road in Tamil Nadu though the govt. has banned fireworks at temple festivals. The overwhelmed devotees light  fire crackers and try high-flying  colorful rockets. This type of menace not only causes noise pollution, but also air pollution.

06. A sudden blaze in  April, 2016 at Paravur Puttingal, Kerala state where there is no ban on fireworks,  had claimed more than 100 lives. In the wake of this freak fire accident, in states like TN, Andhra and Karnataka, the temples do not allow stock-piling of crackers, etc. They do not have fire work shows.