Kolkata’s traffic is the second noisiest in India and 11th in the world, according to a recent UN report. The measurements were made in traffic areas. The city has fared marginally better in traffic-related noise level in residential areas.
The comparison between cities on the basis of traffic-related noise has been published in Frontiers 2022: Noise, Blazes and Mismatches, a recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme.
The data used for the report has been collected from various published studies using different methodologies. Traffic-related noise levels in 61 cities across the world during a specific daytime duration have been compared in the report.
Bangladesh’s capital city Dhaka has topped the list with 119dB (decibel) traffic-related noise in traffic areas, followed by Uttar Pradesh’s Moradabad with 114dB.
Kolkata and Asansol, also in West Bengal, recorded 89dB in traffic areas. In residential areas, Kolkata recorded 65dB and Asansol 67dB.
Pakistan’s Karachi and China’s Hong Kong have also registered 89dB in traffic areas.
According to 1999 WHO guidelines for community noise, the recommended limits are 55dB for outdoor residential areas and 70dB for traffic and commercial areas.
Although Dhaka and Moradabad have topped the list in traffic and commercial areas, both are quieter in residential areas compared to Kolkata. Dhaka recorded 57dB in residential areas and Moradabad 29dB.
‘A report on noise level status in different areas of South Kolkata’ by D. Buragohain has been cited as a source for Kolkata’s data in the UN report.