A study by the World Health Organisation (WHO) found that one in every five people are exposed everyday to noise levels that could lead to ‘significant’ damage to health.
In a feeble attempt to curb the increasing noise pollution in the city, Pune observed its first ‘No Horn Day’ in September under the auspices of the Pune Traffic Police. While the reports were contrasting on the efficacy, the city is believed to have been trifle quieter on this day.
outdoor noise is among the “top environment caused risks to health” and people are most affected by road traffic noise.
Pune airport also decided to have go low on noise and announcements are restricted to boarding gates. This year’s Ganapati celebrations were comparatively quieter thanks to the ban on high intensity DJ and Dolby sound systems.
Pune traffic police also initiated various drives against the use of air horns emitting high decibel sounds and modified silencers of bikes, however their use continues unabated. For the record, The Central Motor Vehicle Rules 1989 noise limits for horns has been fixed between 93 dB to 112 dB.
Pune is certainly not spared the effects of noise pollution and are severely impacted by the environmental noise levels say experts and aggrieved citizens speaking to Pune365
“I remain agitated and irritated whenever I am driving in the city and this all thanks to the illogical honking addicts in the city who fail to understand that horse were made to be used only when you really need them” says Madhavi Govind Patil, a Human Resource Executive.
“Adding to this misery, is the bikes with modified silencers that is cause for an instant headache when they pass by!
For these riders, it is just a method to irritate people and they forget that they may be endangering a person with a cardiac problem etc. People need to be more logical and reasonable before slamming on the horns,” she quips.
Dr. Seemab Shaikh, ENT surgeon says that there has been an increasing trend in patients with hearing difficulties, irrespective of age or gender.
“Noise pollution is increasing day by day due to increasing vehicular traffic and honking. This is more so during Diwali. Some of the crackers are beyond 150-160 dB which is double the permissible limit which is extremely dangerous to the body and our auditory system.
The direct and indirect effects of exposure to pollution are plenty including headaches, heaviness in the head, hypertension and stress among others.
Moreover, any sudden burst of short duration high intensity sound is much more dangerous than long-term exposition to noise pollution. Huge bombs and crackers that suddenly burst next to us are extremely harmful.
People during Diwali should try to buy crackers that are light oriented and not noise causing. Additionally, we need to be very civic in sense of our driving and inappropriate honking on the streets. Because of the implications of noise pollution, people often tend to have sleepless nights, ruining the entire circadian rhythm, which then causes several other ailments.
Apart from the increased noise pollution levels during Diwali, youngsters listening to loud music in cars and through earphones for long hours should also be careful.
They should investigate what kind of accessories they are using and for people exposed to sustained high-decibel sounds, ear muffs are advised to avoid hearing difficulties.
Prolonged exposure to noise pollution and loud music can cause long term side effects like headaches and hearing loss. Tinnitus (disturbing sound in the ear) is also one of the adverse effects,” shares Dr. Shaikh
#All views expressed are those of the individual respondent’s and Pune365 does not necessarily subscribe to them.
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