Mumbai: Despite Months of Lockdown, Noise Levels Remained Above Permissible Limits

Mumbai: Despite Months of Lockdown, Noise Levels Remained Above Permissible Limits

Although a large part of 2020 saw a big reduction in vehicular traffic which led to a quieter city overall, data submitted by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to the Rajya Sabha shows that noise levels in Bengaluru, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Lucknow, as well as Mumbai remained above the permitted limits. 

The highest daytime average noise levels (6 AM to 10 PM) of 77 decibels (dB) was recorded at Kukatpalli in Hyderabad. Meanwhile, the highest nighttime noise level (10 PM to 6 AM) of 73 dB was recorded at Delhi, Chennai, and Hyderabad respectively. 

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As per the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the maximum noise level in residential, commercial, and industrial areas should be in the range of 50, 55, 65, and 75 dB during the daytime and 40, 45, 55, and 70 dB at night. 

Andheri and CSMT recorded the highest daytime noise of 72 dB. Andheri also topped the list in terms of nighttime noise with 70 dB recorded in the region. It’s worth pointing out that the CSMT sound monitoring station comes under the commercial category whereas the Andheri station happens to be classified as an industrial location.

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Sumaira Abdulali, Convener at NGO Awaaz Foundation said, “Since decibels are a logarithmic value, even a few units lower is a significant drop, so the city was quieter in 2020. It is always assumed that the noise is from the vehicles, but this data shows that the levels remained above permissible limit even as the lockdown was in place, indicating that a lot of it comes from recreational activities. We had several complaints during the lockdown about construction work creating noise pollution through the day and night.” 

Despite the lockdown since March 2020 in several parts of Mumbai, vehicular traffic never really came to a halt. However, experts have said that air pollution in the city reduced dramatically during the lockdown months. 

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