Noise averages in 2017 have been higher than permissible levels
Data from the Delhi government shows that the monthly averages of noise pollution this year have been higher than permissible levels, prompting activists to question whether any measures were taken to control noise.
In a reply to environmentalist Vikrant Tongad’s Right to Information query submitted last month, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) on Tuesday gave its report on the average monthly noise levels for five locations — Anand Vihar, R.K. Puram, Mandir Marg, Civil Lines and Punjabi Bagh — from January till October 2017.
While the DPCC report does not mention the standards to which the data can be compared with, using the Central Pollution Control Board’s report on the sound monitoring for Diwali 2016, where the five areas were covered, it can be seen that the levels have breached safe limits. A senior DPCC official who was involved in drafting of the reply confirmed that the noise levels were unsafe, but declined to comment further.
According to the DPCC report, Anand Vihar had a day-time average monthly noise level of 66.9 dB(A) to 68.7 dB(A) and a night-time average of 63.2 dB(A) to 66.6 dB(A).
Last year, the CPCB had classified Anand Vihar as a commercial area, for which day and night-time noise standards are 65 and 55 dB(A), respectively. Similarly, the CPCB categorised Civil Lines as commercial, meaning that its day-time noise range of 61.2 dB(A) to 63.7 dB(A) was under the standard of 65, but its night-time average of 57.8 dB(A) to 62.7 dB(A) was over the standard of 55.
At Punjabi Bagh, which was classified as a residential area, the day-time monthly average was between 58.1 dB(A) to 60.1 dB(A) — over the standard of 55 dB(A). For night time, the area recorded noise levels of 51.7 dB(A) to 58.9 dB(A), well over the standard of 45. At Mandir Marg and R.K. Puram, too, the levels were over the standards.
Mr. Tongad, however, termed the reply incomplete, saying that not enough was being done to control noise pollution.
“The CPCB has said that the level of noise pollution in metros is high. But the DPCC reply is incomplete as we don’t know the exact locations of the monitoring sites and the standards to which we are supposed to compare it to,” he said.
He added that if the CPCB classifications and standards were to be taken into account, the levels were almost all over the safe limits.