World Environment Day: Kalyani Nagar Citizens Urge Not To Overlook Menace of Noise Pollution

World Environment Day: Kalyani Nagar Citizens Urge Not To Overlook Menace of Noise Pollution

World Environment Day: Kalyani Nagar Citizens Urge Not To Overlook Menace of Noise Pollution

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Last year, local organisations like Team Swachh Kalyani Nagar (TSKN), in collaboration with the Koregaon Park Resident Association, organised a campaign against noise pollution.

5 June 2024

By Khushi Maheshwari 

With every city in the country going haywire due to climate change implications, one major pollutant that frequently goes unnoticed is Noise Pollution. Too much noise has a plethora of repercussions and not just for human beings, either.

Audiologist Kalyani Mandke explains it, she says, “Noise is everywhere and 24/7. Our auditory system gets constant stimulation, which leads to fatigue. Same is true for animals. Pets also like tranquillity. Noise is passive listening, and we have no choice. Nowadays we don’t see avian birds, as they are moving away from urban environments. This noise creates barriers in their communication.” 

Last year, disgruntled by the loud music in pubs, obnoxious honking of vehicles, sounds of construction, along with various other sources of noise, the TSKN, in association with the Koregaon Park Resident Association, took matters into their own hands and organised a campaign called ‘Voice Against Noise’ to combat the menace of noise pollution in their respective areas. 

They were also dissatisfied with the lack of response from the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) and the excise department. The Chairperson of TSKN, Rachna Aggarwal, gave an overview of the situation last year and said, “We organised that campaign on April 19th last year. We had invited a lot of activists because the pub culture was driving us crazy. The laws are in place but there is little to no implementation. We had invited officials from these authorities by sending them personal letters, yet only one police official showed up; the authorities did not take this seriously. But the attendance by civilians was so huge that it made it clear that everyone was fed up of this problem.” 

Further, she also spoke about how the system is at fault as a whole, as there was no regulation from the PMC’s or the excise department’s end. Upon the police being called, the pubs would reduce their sound a bit and then eventually return to their original course.

The secretary of TSKN echoed the same sentiments, saying, “As a longtime resident of Kalyani Nagar, the rising noise pollution has become a significant concern for our community. The constant noise, loud music from pubs, and incessant honking have severely disrupted our daily lives. We’ve experienced increased stress levels and sleep disturbances, and it’s affecting our overall well-being. Despite numerous complaints, the response from authorities has been lacklustre. It’s crucial for the government to take strict action against violators and enforce noise regulations more effectively. Our community deserves a peaceful environment, and it’s time for the MPCB and local authorities to prioritise this issue and bring about meaningful change.”

The same issues have persisted in the Koregaon Park area. Rohan Desai, a member of the Koregaon Park Resident Association, shared his insights on the same and said, “We have been working on this issue for a very long time, the Koregaon Park Resident Association has been working on it for 4-5 years, although now the PMC has started sending JCBs to get rid of all the encroachments so I cannot say for sure if things will change or not.” 

Things have improved after the Porsche accident that took place in Kalyani Nagar, in terms of patrolling by the police, which is done to ensure that pubs, bars and clubs keep in check and to regulate traffic. However, the problem of noise pollution in residential areas still persists. 

Other health issues caused by noise pollution that were highlighted by Kalyani Mandke include: fluctuation of blood pressure, irritability and difficulty focusing. Young children and the elderly are the most severely impacted by this pollutant. Reinforcing every individual’s right to tranquillity, Mandke urged everyone, “Say ‘no’ to sound system, loud music. We don’t need any rule to implement this. This should be a voluntary act. Green belt will create a natural source of sound barriers. Go Green!” 

Hence, this environment day, do not forget to embrace and fight for the tranquillity of our surroundings. As put forward by Rachna Aggarwal, “It’s never too late. We do not have to wait for tomorrow. We should help in whatever little way we can but we have to do it now.”