Thursday, May 04, 2017

Noise-mapping at every airport to check noise pollution

Taking serious note of noise pollution from aircraft during its take off and landing and also during its movements at airports, the National Physical Laboratory of the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has decided to assist the Delhi International Airport Ltd (DIAL) and the Airport Authority of India for 'noise mapping' of all airports across the country and suggest suitable mitigation measures to minimize its impact.
Noise-mapping is a scientific method to understand existing and projected noise levels in a particular area. The mapping, usually done by calculating noise levels in different scenario, help in making action plan for mitigation measures.
The seriousness of the issue was discussed during a workshop on noise pollution at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL) last week where the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the DIAL requested the Laboratory to conduct training programs for noise measurements for their staff and assist them for 'noise mapping'.
Explaining the impact of continuous high-intensity sound on the health of human being, the CSIR-NPL director, D K Aswal, said the continuous exposure to noise above 85 decibels was harmful to hearing as per guideline of OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). "Documented research has found that noise does not have to be that loud to lead to physiological changes in blood pressure, sleep, digestion and other stress-related disorders", said Aswal.
The environment ministry has fixed noise standards within the boundary for various airports as the ones applicable for 'industrial areas' -- 75 dbA (decibels) during day time (6 AM to 10 PM) and 70 dBA (decibels) during night time (10 PM to 6 AM) -- as an airport is also an industry. The specified limit, however, excludes aircraft landing and take-off noise.
The issue of noise pollution around airports had earlier been flagged by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in January when it heard pleas filed by the residents of Vasant Kunj and Bijwasan in South Delhi. Both these residential areas are very close to the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA) in the Capital.
03/05/17 Vishwa Mohan/The Times Of India