After repeated complaints by residents about high noise levels from construction activity of the Metro 3, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has roped in National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (Neeri) to conduct a study on the noise levels at four station sites.
“The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation (MMRC) has done sound-proofing at most station sites. But some residents requested us to monitor, so we are conducting a routine monitoring. If there is an issue then we will direct them on how to curb the noise,” said Dr P Anbalagan, Member Secretary, MPCB.
As part of the study, the team will monitor ambient noise levels at Cuffe Parade, Churchgate, Vidhan Bhavan and Girgaon station sites. Working with a team of 15 people on the ground and two senior members to coordinate, the noise monitoring activity was started last week and is expected to be completed next week.
“After monitoring the noise levels, we will prepare a report and submit it to MPCB. Based on the findings we propose to give workable recommendations to control the noise. As part of the study we are recording noise levels at each site for 48 hours — 24 hours on a working day and another 24 hours on a non-working day. We expect to complete the noise monitoring activity by next week,” said Komal Kalawapudi, Technical Assisant, CSIR-NEERI, Mumbai Zone.
However, residents have alleged that as the noise levels were being monitored the metro authorities deliberately lowered their noise levels. “The noise levels seem lower this week. It is possible that they have toned it down owing to the monitoring now. However the work at night is still going on and we noticed it on Thursday as well,” said Ashwin Nagpal, a resident of Churchgate.
Kalawapudi, however, said, “It is not possible for us to do surprise checks as we have to install noise monitoring equipment at their site and we cannot enter without their permission. We cannot enter private buildings also without their consent. There is no way we can know if they have lowered the noise levels but our staff tells us that no noise generating work is being conducted at the site during the night.”
Meanwhile Anbalagan assured that random checks will be conducted to check noise levels. “We will conduct random checks at these station sites and other sites as well to see what the noise levels are usually,” he said.
Irked by the noise created by the construction of the Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ corridor, a resident of Cuffe Parade had also approached the Bombay High Court last year demanding a compensation of Rs 10,000 per day for each member of his family. The court then restrained MMRC from carrying on construction activity at the proposed station site from 10 pm to 6 am.