Over 2,000 sound monitoring units to be deployed across West Bengal to check noise pollution

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Published: July 7, 2020 4:39 PM

Dutta said that it is akin to setting up of more pathological labs for detecting a pathogen rather than treating and preventing the infection at the outset.

Already 700 such sound monitoring units have been given to different police stationsAlready 700 such sound monitoring units have been given to different police stations. (Representative image)

Over 2,000 sound monitoring units are being deployed across West Bengal as part of the efforts to curb noise pollution in the state, a top official said on Tuesday. The state Pollution Control Board is handing over these units to different police stations for the deployment.

Already 700 such sound monitoring units have been given to different police stations in Kolkata and neighbouring districts, a top official of the Pollution Control Board told PTI.

“The source of sound pollution can be traced to honking, construction activities, use of loudspeakers at religious, social and political programmes, and many small scale units located in congested areas using old machinery,” he said.

“The Pollution Control Board being the watchdog has to involve law enforcement agencies in the fight against sound pollution. Hence, we are giving these devices to the police who will record the sound in noisy zones, including market places, round the year and we will analyse the data,” the official explained.

Earlier, hand-held sound monitoring devices were used by patrolling policemen during festivals such as Kali Pujo when both sound and air pollution levels spike due to the bursting of firecrackers. The Pollution Control Board is also setting up sound monitoring stations in every district town of the state, he said.

“These sound monitoring stations will help to record the decibel count in the respective area and help us understand the situation. It will be particularly useful during festivals, as also gauging the difference in sound pollution in day time and night. After analysis, we can ask the administration to take follow up action to ensure ambient sound quality in that area,” he said.

The official said that while 10 sound monitoring stations have been set up in areas such as Baghbazar, Patuli, New Market, Kasba, Salt Lake, Tollygunj and Birati in Kolkata in the last few years, more will come up in a year’s time in the city.

He did not specify the exact numbers of sound monitoring stations that will be set up in the state but said tenders have already been floated. Eminent environmentalist Subhas Dutta, however, criticised the Pollution Control Board, saying it already knows the sources of the rising sound pollution.

“They (PCB) already know the sources of the rising sound pollution and the contributing factors. What is the point in noting down the results and consequences?” he asked.

Dutta said that it is akin to setting up of more pathological labs for detecting a pathogen rather than treating and preventing the infection at the outset. “Will they (the government and its agencies) take drastic steps to bring to book the polluters,” Dutta asked.

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