Noise pollution on rise in Rawalpindi, Islamabad RAWALPINDI, Nov 10: The problem of noise pollution in the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad is aggravating day by day because of high traffic density and lack of traffic management, says a study carried out by Pakistan Enviromental Protection Agency (Pak-EPA). Among eight noise measurement locations in the twin cities, the study says, the daily maximum and equivalents were higher than the permissible limit of 85dB(A) of National Environmental Quality Standards (NEQS) for motor vehicle noise at 7. 5 meters from the source.
Even though the daily minimum noise level at all locations is more than 60dB(A), which clearly reflects the gravity of the problem on the roads of the major cities of Pakistan. The highest maximum noise level 98dB(A) was recorded near the Pirwadhai General Bus Terminal, the hub of inter-city and intra- city heavy traffic. At the said location, the daily equivalent noise level 97. 1dB(A) was calculated from the daily recorded maximum and minimum noise levels. The daily noise figure at the location is extremely higher than the NEQS permissible limit, points out the study carried out under the Pakistan Environment Programme.
The study urged the law enforcement agencies and regulatory bodies to pay attention to the problem and bring down the figure for the betterment of the passengers and nearby areas. The second highest noisy location was spotted near Churr Chowk, on Peshawar Road in Rawalpindi, where the daily maximum level was 97dB(A). Bank Road in Sadar and Melody Road Aabpara Chowk were found less noisy locations. At these locations, the daily equivalent noise levels were within the permissible limits of NEQS, reveals the study.
According to the study, in comparison to other pollutants, the control of environmental noise has been hampered by insufficient knowledge of its effects on humans. The report concludes that once traffic noise is recognised as a serious issue in sustainable transport planning, the traffic noise could be tackled through a seven parts strategy which includes removal of pressure horns from the public transport; setting standards; motor vehicles control; land use control; traffic management; surface design and maintenance; and road geometry and design.