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Current Affairs

Noise pollution

Date: 25 April 2022 Tags: Miscellaneous

Issue

The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 is being used by the Maharashtra government to tackle the mosque loudspeaker issue.

 

Background

MNS chief Raj Thackeray had threatened to play Hanuman Chalisa in public if loudspeakers from mosques were not removed.

 

Details

  • Noise is defined as unwanted sound. Any sound that causes pain and annoyance is noise and that which pleases listeners is called music.

  • Music for somebody can be noise for others. Noise usually causes annoyance, irritation and pain to the human ear.

 

Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000

  • Noise pollution is controlled under The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 and The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

  • Noise is included in the definition of ‘air pollutant’ under Section 2 (a) of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981.

  • Under the act, rules have been framed on acceptable noise levels, silence zones, restrictions on the use of loudspeakers, horns, sound-emitting construction equipment, and bursting of crackers.

 

Acceptable noise levels

  • Different acceptable levels of noise have been defined in different zones for both daytime and nighttime.

  • The permissible limit is 75 decibels for daytime and 70 dB for night in industrial areas. Timing for daytime is 6 am to 10 pm, and night is 10 pm to 6 am.

  • For residential areas they are 55 dB and 45 dB during daytime and night respectively. In commercial areas, ceilings are fixed at 65 dB and 55 dB.

  • In silent zones, it is 50 dB in the daytime and 40 dB during the night. These zones are located 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts.

 

Loudspeakers rule

  • Loudspeakers must not be used in public places except after obtaining written permission from the designated authority. 

  • Exception for loudspeaker can be given during cultural or religious festive occasion for a period not exceeding 15 days in a year.

  • The noise from loudspeakers at the boundary of the public place should not exceed 10 dB (A) above the ambient noise standards for the area or 75 dB (A).

  • Violation of norms while using loudspeakers can result in seizure of the equipment, and a fine of Rs 10,000.

 

Impact of noise pollution on health

  • Hearing loss due to over exposure

  • Noise-induced sleep disturbance at night

  • Temporary deafness, headache and an increase in blood pressure

  • Disturbed sleep causes fatigue, accidents and reduced performance