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Integration and comparison of assessment and modeling of road traffic noise in Baripada town, India

Keywords: Road traffic, Noise descriptors, Noise prediction, Community health survey, Baripada

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Abstract:

The road traffic is the predominant source of noise pollution in urban areas. Despite enactment of legislations and despite effort from Government level to abate vehicle noise, the noise exposure of people of India due to road traffic has hardly changed, but has increased day by day due to growth of vehicular population. Thus, an attempt had been made to assess the noise level in 12 different squares (major intersection points) of Baripada town during four different specified times (7-10 a.m., 11 a.m.-2 p.m., 3-6 p.m., 7-10 p.m.). The equivalent noise levels of all the 12 squares were found to be much beyond the permissible limit (70 dB during day time). Noise descriptors such as L10, L50, L90, Leq, TNI (Traffic Noise Index), NPL (Noise Pollution Level) and NC (Noise climate) were assessed to reveal the extent of noise pollution due to heavy traffic in this town. It is pertinent to mention here that even the minimum Leq and NPL values were more than 70.9 dB and 88.4 dB, respectively. Chi-square (χ2) test was also computed for investigated squares at different times to infer the level of significance. The test depicts that the noise levels of different squares do not differ significantly at the peak hour. The prediction model was used in the present study to predict equivalent noise levels. Comparison of predicted equivalent noise level with that of the actual measured data demonstrated that the model used for the prediction has the ability to calibrate the multi-component traffic noise and yield reliable results close to that by direct measurement. Episodic and impulsive noise levels by the air-horn of motor vehicles in Baripada were also appraised and were more than the permissible limit. Though, the dimension of the traffic generated noise pollution in Baripada was not so alaraming like other towns of India, a preliminary public health survey has also been carried out.

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