IMPHAL, April 2:Noise levels in certain parts of Imphal city is has risen to such an extent that it has now become a threat to the people living in and around these areas. An independent survey conducted by IFP has found that the noise levels in parts of Imphal city are much beyond the permissible levels notified in the Noise pollution control (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000.
The permissible noise levels in industrial area to 75 decibels, commercial areas to 65 decibels and residential areas to 55 decibels and also to establish zones of silence within 100 metres near schools, courts and hospitals. The prescribed daytime levels between 6:00 am to 10:00 pm are 10 decibels higher than the corresponding levels for night time except in industrial areas where the difference is just five decibels.
Example of failure to control can be easily seen in the streets of both Paona Bazar area and Thangal Bazar area where some shops play music to such an extent that measuring sound levels from a distance of about 10 metres show and average of 80+ decibels. Some vendors in the market area also uses loud speakers without any permission from the competent authority.
Noise levels measured at Johnstone school area at 10 am was at an average of 74 decibels with a peak of 97 indicating clear violation of the permissible levels of noise in and around school areas.
The relevant authority has also failed to put up silence zone indicator in the city where heavy vehicles are using gas horns which has a peak level of 90+ decibels measured from 30 metres.
Post office traffic point, Keishampat traffic point, Khoyathong traffic point and North AOC traffic point all registered an average of 70 + decibels with peak of 90 +. Kwakeithel, Lamlong, Palace Gate, Singjamei and RIMs gate were the places that registered levels of less than 70 decibels on average but peak levels crossed 90 decibels in all areas.
The numerous diesel auto rickshaws that ply on almost every nook and corner of Imphal city are also of concern. Sound levels measured inside a diesel autorickshaw measured an average of 80 + decibels. Of more concern is the parking of these autos near the main gate of Mapal Kangjeibung where average sound levels al;most touch 90 decibels.
Ther direct physiological effects include loss of hearing, either temporary or permanent. The non auditory effects include cardiac ailments, stress, fatigue and disturbance to sleep leading to insomnia.. Among the psychological effects documented by experts are lack of concentration, loss of memory and an adverse impact on education of children. Noise is also suspected of aggravating nausea, headache, insomnia and loss of appetite.
Manipur Pollution Control Board had been monitoring the noise levels in the city but no concrete steps are seen to be taken up by any competent authority for the ever increasing noise levels in Imphal. The noise rules require the states to designate an authority or officer, which could be the district magistrate or police commissioner responsible for maintaining the ambient standards but in Manipur, no such designated authority is seen to prohibit or control noise pollution.
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