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Imphal Crescendo Touches 76-77 dB

Auto Rickshaw parking zone in Imphal. Image Credit: Sangai Photo.

IMPHAL, Jan 28: As per the readings of the Sound Level Meter installed at the western gate of Kangla, Imphal city recorded average noise level of 76 to 77 decibels in 2009.

An official source in the Manipur Pollution Control Board (MPCB) said that noise level of 76 or 77 dB is too high according to Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules.

The sudden rise in the noise level at Imphal city may be attributed to the multifold increase in the number of diesel powered auto-rickshaws.

To record sound level of Imphal city, MPCB installed a Sound Level Meter at the western gate of Kangla since 2008.

As per the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 200, the State Government should classify different areas as commercial or industrial or residential.

Noise levels for the three different types of areas should be recorded separately.

However, in Manipur, the State Government has not made any official classification of areas. As such, MPCB installed the Sound Level Meter at the western gate of Kangla taking it as a commercial area.

Even as the Principal Secretary (Forest and Environment) has been approached twice to classify commercial, industrial and residential areas under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000, no such classification has been made till date, conveyed the source.

Only after the Government has made classification of different areas, the MPCB can record noise levels at different areas and make official announcements of the same.

Even though MPCB was aware that the noise level   jumped to alarming scale following introduction of diesel auto-rickshaws in passenger service, the MPCB has not taken up any specific action to ascertain the noise levels.

Moreover, Transport Department has not handed over the same task to MPCB.

MPCB informed Transport Department about the rising noise level in the surrounding area of Kangla western gate as early as July 2001.

As a rule, in case of sudden rise in noise level, it is pertinent to note the increasing number of vehicles and ensure management of traffic management plans in addition to ensuring that vehicles are maintained at the standard level.

All those vehicles which do not conform to the standard prescribed by the Ministry of Environment and Forest under Central Motor Vehicle Rule 1998. However all these measures seemed to be absent in absent. Another source in Transport Department said that the number diesel auto-rickshaws might have reached about 5000 in Manipur.

Incidentally, diesel auto-rickshaws are being marketed after approval by the Automotive Research Association of India.  Subsequently, these auto-rickshaws are brought to Manipur after receiving tender confirm under Motor Vehicle Rules. Whether it is diesel auto-rickshaw or any vehicle, the transport department may inform the companies concerned if the MPCB identifies that the particular vehicles emits high level of noise, added the source.

(Courtesy: The Sangai Express)

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