If noise pollution has been giving you sleepless nights,now there is at least a way out to quantify it region-wise and put it online. For the first time,a page has been created on Facebook so that citizens can make a noise map of the place one lives. All one has to do is download the free-of-cost app and record the decibel levels. The phone application is available for both Andriod and Apple smartphones.
Initially we planned the Facebook page for citizens to create a noise map of Mumbai but we welcome participation from across other cities, said Sumaira Abdulali,convenor of Awaaz Foundation,an NGO that undertakes campaigns on noise pollution and other issues. Citizens can post the location,time and decibel levels and even name the Ganesh mandals that are flouting the sound levels,Abdulali said. The permissible noise level during the day is 50dB in silence zones and 55dB in residential areas.
Noise has been recognised as an ambient air pollutant and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has been monitoring noise pollution at various cities during the Ganesh festival. Decibel levels registered both by the MPCB and Pune Municipal Corporation,in the last three years,show the levels were the highest on the day of the immersion of the idol. While the initial days of the festival saw noise levels within the range of 70-80 decibels,they soon crossed the permissible limits on the last two three days. The MPCB and the police have assured stepping up their drive while audiologists. Dr Seemab Shaikh,Vice-President of the Pune ENT Association,said,Every year we see an increase in the number of patients who come to the OPD with headaches,disturbed sleep and ringing noise in the ear. There is increasing awareness about how noise pollution impacts health but efforts are required to bring in strict legislation.
Dr Nandini Joshi,industrial audiologist,who had as part of her research work submitted scientific data on the impact of noise on human health,said their study had raised concerns on how much noise the ear could tolerate.