It’s been years since the Delhi government has been claiming to do things that help the Environment and its need in some way. One of the major concerns that have been rigging the environment is – Delhi noise pollution. Though, Delhi – The capital city of India is also known as the Air Pollution capital of India; other issues have been slowly creeping into the city’s atmosphere – Making it become unhealthier day by day. In the lights of this concern, the Delhi government has recently launched the first action plan to curb noise pollution in the city.
A senior officer of the environment department said that this will be Delhi’s very first action plan to curb noise pollution. He also said that various government agencies have been assigned tasks to curb the issues from scratch. Delhi Police, Delhi State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation Ltd. (DSIIDC) and Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) have been summoned to work together while trying to fight the rising level of noise in the capital city.
The plan focuses on these civic agencies firstly identifying the ‘noise hotspots’ that are under their jurisdiction by the end of September 2019. The idea is to implement the Noise Regulation and Control policy of 2000 strictly. They are also aiming for silence zones that will be put into place around schools, hospitals, courts and government offices.
The senior officer has also notified that this plan will be taken under by providing civic agencies and police with hand-held devices that monitor the levels of noise pollution. These hand-held devices are to give to the authorities within a duration of 3 months.
The DPCC has already installed five Real-Time-Automatic Noise Monitoring systems in Punjabi Bagh, Mandir Marg, Civil Lines, Anand Vihar, and RK Puram. This is done in collaboration with CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board).
With this endeavor, the DPCC was able to monitor that all these stations have noise levels way above the daily permissible limits. The daily permissible limit for residential areas is 50 decibels during the night and 55 during the day. However, the monthly average of three residential areas in the areas mentioned above was around 60.
Data available with the DPCC shows the noise level in all these stations is above the daily permissible limit. While the daily permissible limit for residential areas is 50 decibels at night and 55 decibels during the day, the monthly average of three residential areas RK Puram, Punjabi Bagh and Mandir Marg is 62, 58 and 59 decibels respectively.
The plan mostly focuses on developing real-time monitoring network in different land-use areas by the end of 2019. These monitoring networks will be used for all commercial, residential and industrial purposes.
However, the government agencies have been unaware of the fact that AQI India – Using their low-cost Air Monitoring devices have also been co-monitoring noise pollution in some of the major hotspots of the city. These monitors can accurately collect data that can be accessed with their public platform that is www.aqi.in and the AQI India App for Android and Apple Smartphones.
The action plan on the other hand also wishes to put sound barrier restrictions for construction sites and industrial areas. Noise mufflers and noise curtains are to be made mandatory to each construction process within the city’s premise.
The Delhi Traffic Police’s Intelligent Traffic Management Plan (ITMP) has also been notified to find a solution to the increasing level of vehicular noise. The action plan initiated the ITMP to implement certain restrictions immensely but nothing as such has been put to place so far. Speed violation detection camera has been installed in a couple of places including Sarai kale Khan and Dhula Kuan but nothing yet for the noise regulations.
The National Green Tribunal directed the chief secretary of Delhi to finalize on 15th March that an action plan needs to be submitted to the CPCB. In the lights of the noise pollution catastrophe in Delhi, a helpline has been launched. It receives 7-10 calls every day but no issues are resolved so far.