03 March, 2021

Sumaira Abdulali

Sumaira Abdulali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation, on her new citizens’ noise-mapping project

Sumaira Abdulali

What’s unique about the new noise-mapping project you’ve launched this Ganesh festival?

An app called Noise Watch allows anyone to record noise levels on to a satellite (GIS) map. We’ve a page called Citizens' Noise Map on Facebook, where people can record their observations.

You’ve been tracking noise levels during festivals for 10 years....

Yes, we’ve had volunteers with recording equipment, who track noise levels. 

Is there more awareness of noise pollution?

The police can enforce laws; the government has measures to include noise in urban planning. But loudspeakers have improved in quality!

What about politicians, who use festivals as propaganda platforms?

They’ve realised they can’t flout the rules, so they want to dilute them, and add more of them.

What are accepted levels of noise?

Residential zones: 55 dB from 6 am-10 pm and 45 dB from 10 pm-6 am; Silence zones: 50 dB...

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