Polluted: Don’t take a deep breath, South Bengaluru

BENGALURU: Air and noise pollution seem to be rising in South Bengaluru with the Gandhi Bazaar main junction recording a carbon monoxide (CO) level of 7.09 microns on July 22 as against the permissible 2 to 4 microns.  The monitoring done by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board in  July at Subramanya  Chetty Road, near NR colony, Gandhi Bazaar main junction and Samipa bakery near Thyagarajnagar,  paints a dismal picture of both air and noise pollution in these parts. The readings were taken during the peak traffic hour in the evenings.

A resident of Thyagarajanagar, Prashant Rao, who received the figures in response to his query under the Right to Information Act, says he decided to act after his complaint about the noise pollution caused by the Panduranga temple  in Thyagarajanagar, a residential idea, went unheard.  “The noise  from the temple crossed all limits set by the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) for residential areas, but my repeated complaints to the officials went unheard,” he laments. 

The pollution control board’s response to his query revealed that the Sound Exposure level  (SEL) during the peak hour in July in Thyagrajanagar was 113 dB and the Peak Sound Pressure reached a deafening 112.0 dB, which Mr Rao equates with the sound of an aircraft. “The permissible limit at night is 45 dB in a residential area,” he notes.  Mr Rao also blames the encroachment of footpaths, which, he says, forces pedestrians to walk in the way of vehicles, and in turn prompts the drivers to honk.

“At the intersection of the main road near my house, there are permanent encroachments on the footpath and roads. Unfortunately, we have no pedestrian-friendly laws,” he regrets.   When  contacted, Mr Lakshman, chairman, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (CPCB),  said it was observing the rise in pollution and  attempting to find a solution. 

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