The city of Bengaluru is cosmopolitan, vibrant, filled with life and as a result, very, very noisy. The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) has recorded a sharp spike in air and sound pollution levels in the city, potentially threatening the lives of the majority of the city’s residents.
Noise Levels Soar In Bengaluru
The numbers from the KSPCB are disturbing with areas such as Hosur Road and Whitefield reporting a 30% rise in decibel levels, something that authorities attribute to rising commercial activities in the city and the growing population in residential areas.
The situation is the same around so-called quiet zones surrounding the Victoria hospital and NIMHANS, with data showing noise levels rising by about 20% to 35% year-on-year. Various studies have shown that exposure to elevated noise levels can cause hearing impairment, hyper tension, heart disease and have a serious impact on mental well-being.
Citizens Invest In Sound-Proofing Technology
With no sign that noise levels are going to fall anytime soon, many of the city’s residents are now investing in sound-proofing technology in order to enjoy some peace and quiet indoors.
“We live in an area that is right next to the railway line which makes it quiet noisy and which is why we had to resort to soundproofing. We do not want to upset our neighbours and neither do we want them to affect our lifestyle with their noises. So soundproofing really works well for us as well as the society as a whole” says Manisha Vinod, a resident of Pulikeshnagar who has soundproofed her home.
Companies like the Babbler Group which have so far seen requests for sound-proofing solutions come from studios and theaters, are now seeing growing demand from home owners looking to insulate their homes from the city’s noise.
“We have been requested by clients to suggest different materials like wooden panels, foam walls & ceilings and even drapes that help absorb sound, so that they can have a zero-sound home.” claims Dinesh Kumar, an acoustic consultant with the Babbler Group.
Government Acts To Control Noise
Meanwhile, the government is taking steps to combat Bengaluru’s noise problem. KSPCB say they will continue to monitor different areas in the city and issue directives to the police to check sounds coming from vehicular traffic. Plans are also being made to streamline construction activity, which is a major cause of noise pollution.
After conducting 2-3 more tests we will study then and give our recommendations to the government so that they can take punitive measures as needed.” says Lakshman, chairman of the KSPCB.
Bengaluru ranks 7th in the list of India’s noisiest cities and if that is to change any time soon, both individuals as well as the government need to take action immediately, or risk losing their voice to overwhelming noise.
Reporter : Stacy Pereira
Web Editor : Nikhil Narayan Sivadas