The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) today stated in the High Court that noise levels due to metro construction work at Cuffe Parade in south Mumbai exceeded prescribed limits. The board submitted its report on ambient noise levels in the court. The MPCB had last month appointed the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) to carry out a noise monitoring study at the sites where the Metro work is on. A division bench of Justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla was hearing an application filed by the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) seeking modification of an earlier HC order prohibiting the firm from carrying out work at Cuffe Parade during night time.
The high court had, in December last, restricted MMRCL from carrying out any construction work in the night as it was creating noise pollution and causing hassles to people residing in the area. As per the report submitted today, the noise monitoring study carried out at the Metro construction sites revealed that the noise levels were exceeding the prescribed standard for day and night time. "Ambient noise levels at the Metro construction sites for day time ranged from 68.5 to 91.9 decibels and during night time it was in the range of 60.3 to 83.4 decibels," the report said. The report said while this construction noise may not pose a serious health risk to the people, it could affect their quality of life.
"Construction noise can be a contributing factor to the degradation of a person's health...it can cause them to be irritated and stressed and can interrupt their ability to sleep. All of this may lead to higher blood pressure, anxiety and feelings of animosity towards people and agencies responsible for the noise," the report said. The report recommended erection of noise barriers of sufficient height at the construction sites to contain and reduce the impact of noise, and ensure that machine activities that generate a lot of noise should be carried out during day time only. The court had, in July, said that it could not permit MMRCL from carrying out the work in the night till the report was being prepared. The bench today posted the matter for further hearing on August 13. The 33 kilometre underground Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line-3 project will connect Cuffe Parade in south Mumbai to SEEPZ and the Airport in the western suburb of Andheri.