Accordingly, the government decided to create a noise map for which it needed noise measuring instruments. In 2020-21, Greater Chennai Corporation (GCC) sanctioned 1.85 crore so that the city police could buy and install 106 noise measuring instruments at various noise hotspots.
Till date, the project has remained a non-starter, according to a report submitted by the state government before the Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal this week.
Chennai’s streets continue to get noisier with measurements exceeding 115 decibels against the prescribed level of 60 dB, as per a 2022 government-funded study.
The survey team found out that excessive honking by vehicles was one the main reasons for the increased noise levels on the streets. “This is because many motorists are restless at traffic signals and start honking at the vehicle in front of them soon after the light turns green,” said C Pradeep, who was a part of the team.
Greater Chennai Traffic Police (GCTP), which took cognizance of this issue, intensified the ‘no-honking’ campaigns and has been registering cases against close to 600 offenders every month.
“Apart from honking, given that Chennai has around 60 lakh vehicles, the noise created by traffic alone can cause enough damage. Besides this, construction activities, loudspeakers and industries also contribute to the growing threat and the government needs a more systematic approach towards this,” said R Rengachari, a transportation activist.
Officials of the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB), said that they had already mapped noise hotspots with the help of a survey conducted in 2020 and soon after installing measuring instruments they will procuring noise limiters in an attempt to fix the issue.