Sound pollution spikes 66% in Ranchi’s silence zone on Diwali in prohibited hours

Sound pollution in Ranchi’s silence zone rose 66% on Diwali on Saturday following a massive violation of the two-hour window given by the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) for bursting firecrackers, according to the data released by the board on Sunday

The same zone recorded 37% increase in noise pollution against the limit during the two-hour window.

On directive of the National Green Tribunal (NGT), JSPCB on November 12 issued an order giving a two-hour window, from 8pm to 10pm, for bursting firecrackers on Diwali.

The board measured the status of sound pollution in four locations – Jharkhand High Court (silence zone), Albert Ekka Chowk (commercial zone) Kutchery Chowk (commercial zone) and Ashok Nagar (residential area) – on Saturday from 6pm to 12 midnight.

Jharkhand High Court, the city’s silence zone, registered average sound pollution at 67.83 decibel (dB) between 6 pm and 12 midnight on Diwali, a slight drop against the pre-Diwali measurement. The zone recorded 70.28 dB on November 9.

The silence zone registered 68.55 dB during window hour, from 8pm to 10pm against the permissible limit of 50dB, while the same zone recorded 66.5 dB during post window hours, from 10pm to 12midnight, against the limit of 40 dB.

The permissible limits for silence zone are 50 dB during day (6am to 10pm) and 40 dB at night (10pm to 6am).

Similarly, Ashok Nagar, city’s posh locality, recorded average decibel at 71.28 during six hours against the limit of 55 dB in day and 45 dB at night. The area registered 74.45 decibel during allotted hours against the limit of 55 dB and 71.6 dB after that from 10pm to 12 midnight, against the permissible limit of 45 dB.

The residential area had registered an average 57.85 dB in six hours during pre-Diwali measurement.

The commercial zones Albert Ekka Chowk recorded average sound pollution at 78.41 dB and Kutchery Chowk at 74.31dB during the six-hour period. Permissible limits for commercial areas are 65 dB in day and 55 dB at night.

The commercial zones registered 70.9 dB and 72.36 dB respectively during pre-Diwali assessment on November 9.

Albert Ekka Chowk registered 80.9 dB during the allotted hours and 73.75 during post window hours. Similarly, Kutchery Chowk recorded 74.31dB during window hours and 71.3 during post window hours on Diwali night.

JSPCB analyst RN Kashyap said, “The increase in sound pollution during post window hours seems due to unawareness of Diwali revelers. It seems that the order of two-hour window had not reached many residents.”

“In some places like Albert Ekka Chowk, rise in noise level is appearing due to some other factors such as loud speakers and vehicular sound,” he said.

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