Spike in sound levels in silent zones such as hospitals affects patients and doctors.
Bangalore: Noise pollution prevails around hospitals like Agadi Hospital, NIMHANS, Victoria Hospital, and BGS International.
B. Nagappa, Senior Scientific Officer of Karnataka State Pollution Control Board’s (KSPCB) said, “This year the permissible decibel level during Diwali is 75. If the level is crossed, the shops will be banned from selling firecrackers.” He also added that they are seeing to it that no crackers are burst within 100 meters of silence zone.
“During normal days, though the pollution level in the residential area is higher than that of silence zone but during the Diwali the noise level increase near Agadi Hospital,” said Sushma Samrat Jai, the administrator at Agadi Hospital and Research Centre.
A survey done by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board’s (KSPCB) Continuous Noise Monitoring Stations says the decibel level during daytime (6 AM- 9 PM) should be 55, but it has gone up by 18 percent to 20.7 percent. And, during the night (10PM – 6AM) it should be 45, but it has gone up by 36 to 38.90 percent.
The survey done by the Noise Monitoring Stations in Bangalore in the year 2016-2017 shows that in and around NIMHANS the decibel level should be 50 during daytime but it has exceeded by 20.67 percent and during the night by 36.93 percent.
Kannappa, clinical psychologist at NIMHANS said, “The area in front of NIMHANS should be made a no horn zone because too much noise prevails here.”
Dr. J Shivananda, ENT of Agadi Hospital said excessive honking can make a person deaf. He added, “A sudden noise may cause extreme harm. Excessive honking puts heart disease patients at a greater risk of cardiac arrest.” He further added, the use of microphones within 100 meters of silent areas should be banned.
Lakshman, the Chairman of the KSPCB said, “The increase in pollution in the city is due to increase in vehicles and companies.” He added, “We are planning to reduce the burning of crackers near the hospital areas. We have also decided to make the hospital area a no horn zone.”
Arun, a semi-deaf Uber Driver says, “Loud sound has already made my listening power weak. The doctor said a sudden noise or loud sound can make me lose my ability to hear.” Ram Singh, a patient at Victoria hospital is hard of hearing. His mother said loud music played during festivals led to his hearing loss.
Complaints have been lodged to the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), but no steps have been taken, said Praveen, the Human Resource Officer of Agadi Hospital.
Chinnappa, the traffic police guard near NIMHANS hospital said the traffic in the area has gotten out of hand which has resulted in the increase of noise pollution in the area.
“Vehicles honking loudly are common for the drivers, shopkeepers, and vendors but they are not aware that this creates noise pollution which results in a headache, increase in blood pressure,” says Dr. Manjunatha, Public Health Professor and Medical Doctor of Institute of Health and Management Research (IHMR).
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