Noise Pollution Current Affairs - 2020

Study: Traffic Noise affects physiology and reproductive health of birds

The Study published in the Conservation Biology Journal noted that the chicks of birds that were exposed to noise were smaller than the ones in quiet nests. On the whole 88 birds were put under observation. They were split into two group. One half were bred in noisy environment and the other half were bred in no noise environment.

Highlights of the study

  • The research team recorded the level of stress before, after and during the breeding period. Also, the measure of functioning of birds’ immune system, reproductive system and the growth rate of the chicks were monitored.
  • The study revealed that birds in constant traffic had lower levels of corticosterone hormone. This was surprising as stress often resulted in higher level of hormones. According to the researchers, the low level of hormones was mainly due to an adopted natural defence mechanism that ensures that the corticosterone levels do not affect the immune system
  • The chicks that whose parents were exposed to noise were smaller in size than those from parents that were bred in quiet environments.

The entire study suppressed other factors affecting the bird population like air pollution, chemicals, light pollution, etc. The study was conducted on the basis of traffic disturbances alone.

NGT Directs CPCB to Prepare Noise Pollution Maps

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) to prepare a noise pollution map and remedial action plan to solve the issue across the country.

NGT Order

  • CPCB has been directed to prepare a noise pollution map and identify hotspots and categorise the cities with specified hotspots and propose a remedial action plan.
  • Noting the establishment of the noise monitoring mechanism in seven cities, NGT asked CPCB to consider setting up of such mechanisms in all cities where noise pollution is beyond permissible limits.
  • Further, the police departments of all the States and Union Territories are asked to obtain the noise monitoring devices within a period of three months and specification of such devices may be finalised in consultation with the respective state PCBs and pollution control committees.
  • NGT asked for setting up of public address systems with equipment that can monitor the noise pollution parameters and alert authorities once the prescribed limits are crossed.

NGT noted that the absence of implementation of noise pollution norms affects the health of citizens, especially infants and senior citizens. Noise pollution affects sleep, comfort, studies and other legitimate activities to address the issue of Noise Pollution.