The Hindustan Times reports that most localities in Mumbai, India’s noisiest city, are noisier than the safe limit. The information comes from a study by the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation which measured sound levels at 740 of 1,200 locations across Mumbai and found that “most of the locations recorded noise levels above permissible limits for residential areas and silence zones.” The noise mapping project was commenced to satisfy a Bombay High Court order that made it mandatory “for all authorities to carry out noise mapping and take into account all aspects of noise pollution as a parameter of quality of life.”
Indian authorities are concerned about the health implications of noise, particularly the concern that “exposure to high noise levels causes hearing loss, high blood pressure and mental health problems.” Notes Dr MV Jagade, consultant ENT surgeon and head of department at JJ Hospital and Grant Medical College, “[e]xposure to noise pollution above 80 decibels (dB) for eight hours a day for eight years will induce permanent deafness. Shorter exposure of higher decibel levels also damages the ear drums.”
The noise-mapping project will continue through the end of the year until all 1,200 locations are measured; the combined data will be analysed and interpreted in January 2017.