While the world-renowned Gandhi Ashram has been marked as a ‘silent zone’ by the authorities and more importantly when the suitable ranges of noise as per Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) are 45 to 55 decibels (dB), the noise on the stretch between Gandhi Ashram and Vadaj is measured between 77 and 83 dB.
When Mahatma Gandhi selected this area on the exterior of the walled city, he sought the quiet and peace. A century later, the noise levels at the area are such that would have prompted the Father of nation to embark on a Satyagraha of another kind.
Research to quantify noise annoyance ranges was carried out by researchers from Indus University, Pandit Deendayal Energy University and Gujarat Power Engineering and Research Institute.
They discovered that the common noise ranges within the city have been within the range of 69-80 dB whereas the suitable limits for residential areas is 45-55 dB and that of the business areas is 55-65 dB.
Hearing is a sense that humans cannot switch on or off on their own. When sounds interfere with thinking, focusing, working, conversing, listening, or sleeping, they become noise. And increased interference creates annoyance.
The campaign to evaluate common noise ranges comprised 123 places which represents round 102.7 sq km of the western space of Ahmedabad. “The noisy areas included IIM and Sola crossroads, CIMS hospital, Jivraj Park junction, D-Mart and Brand Factory junction, Shyamal, Helmet and Naranpura junctions.
It is found that while the average noise levels of the city are in the range of 69-80 dB, 49% locations had average noise levels above 74 dB which was much more than acceptable levels.