160 noise monitoring stations in India by next year

Sunday, October 24, 2010

NEW DELHI - The government’s pollution control watchdog wants to set up 160 noise monitoring stations across the country by the end of next year to keep track of sound levels round the clock.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) member secretary J.S. Kamyotra told IANS there are just five such stations till date and efforts are on to put the number at 35 by the first week of next month as the government body “ambitiously” wants to tackle the problem of noise pollution.

“We want to cover the entire country as far as monitoring the noise level is concerned. We are setting up 160 monitoring stations and by Diwali next year you will see a lot of changes. The data will also be made available online,” the pollution control watchdog’s chairman S.P. Gautam said.

A study by the environment ministry in 2008 pointed out that the noise pollution levels in posh residential areas of the national capital and Kolkata were around 35 percent higher than the standard level of 55 decibels.

Gautam said the move will bring confidence among people to tackle the menace of rising noise pollution and also suggest the policy makers to take “corrective steps” to check the trend.

The main sources of noise pollution include generators, firecrackers, loud speakers and music systems besides vehicular horns.

“The information will be available to people through the CPCB website on real time basis,” Kamyotra said.

The CPCB chairman said the central pollution control body is in touch with those in the states to plan out more on the issue and curb the rising trend.

Kamyotra said the data collected from the monitoring stations will be fed into a central server at the CPCB central office and displayed on its website.

The support of state pollution control boards is a must for the central body as, according to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the state governments have got the power to categorise the areas into industrial, commercial, residential or silence areas/zones for implementation of noise standards.

The local authorities enforce the noise pollution control measures.

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