Noise levels high in residential areas near BPCL unit, finds Pollution Control Board

Sound monitoring carried out in 10 areas after residents complained of noise pollution

The noise level in residential areas close to the Bharat Petroleum Corporation (BPCL) in Ambalamughal was found to exceed the permissible limits during night hours, according to a study conducted by the State Pollution Control Board (PCB).

The agency had carried out sound monitoring in 10 residential areas based on a directive by the Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) after the residents complained of high noise pollution from the industrial unit.

All the residential stations showed exceeding values of noise during the night time (standard 45 decibels for residential area). Except Kakkad, Adoorkara and Puliyampally, all other stations were showing exceeding concentrations of noise intensities (standard 55 decibels for residential area) during the day time, said the report.

The board recommended having continuous ambient noise monitoring along the residential areas and other strategic points close to the industry in view of the allegations raised by the people that low sound levels were observed during the monitoring period compared to the sound level generated normally.

Since the operation of the industrial plants in question was on a 24×7-basis, surprise inspections should be strengthened, where the surveillance team could interfere even if complaints about noise arose during odd hours, it said.

The report said that there were certain practical hurdles in the monitoring or noise generated from such a large industrial unit. Hence it was decided to monitor sound intensities for minimum one hour at almost all the residential spots identified and other industrial premises. As per environmental clearance, the ambient noise levels in and around the plant areas during day/night time are 75/70 decibels. Along the residential areas, the ambient noise levels as per Noise Rules are 55/45 decibels during day and night times respectively.

The company management said they were functioning as per the environment and safety standards prescribed by various statutory bodies. “We have also complied with all industry-relevant requirements,” they said.

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