28th Nov, 2017
THANE: With every passing day vehicular traffic and construction work in the city have been on the rise. This has led to a rise in noise pollution. Honking is one of the major reasons for a rise in decibel levels, especially at major junctions of the city. These figures were released by the Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) that had conducted a month-long study in July this year.
The TMC officials had carried out a study at 15 prominent junctions along the Eastern Express Highway as well as arterial roads. Out of 15, nine places were above the 75 decibel level. The civic body found that the maximum decibel levels crossed the 75 decibel limit at areas like Nitin Company junction, Gaondevi naka, Pokhran Road junction and Kalwa junction.
Activists feel that a change in the mindset of citizens, along with change in infrastructural plans of the corporation could help solve the issue in the long run.
Nilesh Ambekar, an activist, said, "The two main reasons for rise in noise pollution at bottlenecks and junctions are traffic congestion and unnecessary honking. Nitin Company, which is listed as the junction with the highest decibel levels, has not had a working signal since it has been installed. The traffic at Gaondevi naka, Kalwa junction and other places, too, are unmanned. When there is traffic congestion, honking increases, resulting in a rise in noise levels."
"Auto-rickshaws make the most noise. Over the past few years, citizens have stopped following traffic rules because of their fast-paced lifestyle. If they don't see a traffic cop, they break signals. Honking has multiplied the noise pollution levels at junctions," said Mahesh Bedekar, a citizen activists.
While the civic body claims to have taken steps to tackle the issue by deploying traffic cops with noise measurement equipment and opening up various helplines for citizens to complain, activists assert that they need to take up stern measures to control the menace.
"In addition to ensuring that the infrastructure to ensure smooth traffic movement is in place, the corporation must also put a ban on the use of any vehicles above ten years of age. They should keep a check on double parking as well,"Ambekar added.
Speaking about the role of citizens, he said, "When we go abroad we don't see anybody honking. We, too, should avoid doing so as it not only adds to the noise pollution, levels, but also affects the mental health of commuters. The traffic police should keep a check on this and not wait for citizens' to lodge a complaint."
Source : timesofindia.indiatimes.com