Hyderabad: Noise pollution from honking has risen ever since the Metro rail came up. The concrete sections above are known to help keep noise at a higher decibel inside a smaller area. As a result, noise levels in city has seen a major rise.
The biggest culprits are the RTC buses, whose honking level is higher than other vehicles. The higher noise-level leads to health problems, ranging from cognitive impairment, stress and fatigue to lack of sleep and more serious issues, such as cardio-vascular disease.
Dr Manish Kumar, ENT surgeon at the Government Hospital in Koti, said, “Because of noise pollution, there is greater chance of mild-induced deafness and tinnitus (sensation of hearing ringing), buzzing, hissing, chirping, whistling, or other sounds.”
Irritation apart, rise in blood pressure is also seen in people because of increase in noise levels.
“We have crossed the levels in so many areas. People whose offices or homes are near main roads, where heavy traffic exists, are most affected. They should be more careful,” Dr Kumar said. Mostly citizens are aware of the law but not everybody follows it. Honking is avoidable, but it requires everyone to change their behavior. The impact of honking increases when RTC buses honk under the roof of Metro station. “If each driver pledges to honk only during an emergency, our city can significantly lower noise pollution,” a Pollution Control Board official said on the condition of anonymity.
According to a research paper published in Current Science, researchers have called for erecting noise barriers, especially in areas like Metro stations, hospitals, schools, colleges, old-age homes and religious institutions. There is a need to implement noise barrier levels and implement it in new constructions. Lack of implementation is leading to increased noise levels in smaller zones.
The research found that there was a need to have National Building Codes for enhancing sound insulation of building elements for protection against noise pollution and revision in ambient noise standards....