Explained: What constitutes ‘noise’, and how can noise pollution harm you?

What is the News?

A political party in Maharashtra has raised the issue of loudspeakers in mosques and warned that if they are not removed, his party would play Hanuman Chalisa out loud.

What is Noise?

Any unwanted sound that causes annoyance, irritation and pain to the human ear is termed ‘noise’.

What do The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 say?

Section 2 (a) of the Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 includes noise in the definition of ‘air pollutant’.

Noise pollution and its sources are regulated under The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 under The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. 

The Act has defined ambient acceptable noise levels, silence zones, restrictions on the use of loudspeakers, horns, sound-emitting construction equipment, and bursting of crackers.

What is the acceptable level of noise?

Rules have defined the acceptable levels of noise across areas during daytime and nighttime. 

In commercial areas, noise limitation has been fixed at 65 dB and 55 dB during daytime and nighttime respectively. In residential areas, they are 55 dB and 45 dB during daytime and night respectively.

In industrial areas, the ceiling is fixed at 75dB and 70dB during daytime and nighttime. In silence zones (an area comprising not less than 100 meters around hospitals, educational institutions and courts), the same is at 50dB and 40dB.

What are the rules around the use of loudspeakers?

The noise level at the boundary of the public place where a loudspeaker is being used shall not exceed 10 dB (A) above the ambient noise standards for the area or 75 dB (A), whichever is lower.

The rules also state that a loudspeaker or a public address system shall not be used except after obtaining written permission from the designated authority. 

The violation of norms can result in seizure of the equipment and a fine of Rs 10,000.

However, the state government can provide an exemption to these rules during any cultural or religious festive occasion of a limited duration not exceeding 15 days in all during a calendar year.

What is the impact of noise pollution on Health?

Click Here to read about it

Source: This post is based on the articleExplained: What constitutes ‘noise’, and how can noise pollution harm you?published in Indian Express on 20th April 2022

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