Thursday, September 23, 1999 Published at 16:59 GMT 17:59 UK
World: South Asia
Traffic noise sending police deaf
Police efficiency is affected by noise say officials
By Habib Beary in Bangalore
Nearly a quarter of the police force in the southern city of Bangalore are suffering from hearing disabilities due to increasing noise pollution.
A pilot study conducted by Bangalore's Institute of Speech and Hearing reveals that traffic constables at the city's main junctions are the worst hit.
The city has a total of nearly 2,000 police officers.
Mrs Madhuri Gore, who conducted the survey, says noise levels in the city's residential areas were as high as 76 decibels - almost 10dB above the levels prescribed by the central pollution board for commercial areas.
Calcutta is known as the noisiest city in the country with a general level of 88dB.
Police officials in Bangalore have admitted that the noise level in the city is affecting the health of its officers, and as a result, they say it is affecting their efficiency at work.
Doctors say exposure to high decibel levels can lead to high blood pressure, cardiac problems and insomia.
The institute has recommended the use of ear protection aids and the reduction of noise produced by trucks and autorickshaws.