Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000

Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000

Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000

The present generation and the coming generations have to solve three grave problems, namely, population poverty and pollution if they have to survive. Pollution being the most dangerous problem likes cancer in which death is sure but slow. Environmental pollution is assuming dangerous proportions all through the globe and India is not free from this poisonous disease. This is the gift of modern living, industrialization, and urbanization. Unless timely action is taken we have a forbid and bleak future for the world.

The word noise is derived from the Latin term nausea. It has been defined as unwanted sound, a potential hazard to health and communication dumped into the environment with regard to the adverse effect it may have on unwilling ears.

Noise pollution is a major issue in today’s urban areas. From factories to vehicles, from machinery to daily equipment, everything produces a noise that is having a significant impact on the ambient environment as well as the health and well being of humans.

In India, an added problem is that Indians are naturally a very noisy group of people. Every occasion, big or small, is celebrated with a lot of fanfare and noise. If you don’t believe me (my non-Indian readers), please YouTube Indian weddings for more on this.

Recognizing the harmful effects of noise, the Indian government included measures to abate noise pollution under the Environment Protection Act, 1986. Noise pollution was one of the categories being addressed under this Act. However, in the late 1990s, the government decided to come out with separate legislation solely focusing on noise pollution. Thus was born, Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

Noise is defined as unwanted sound

Sound, which pleases the listeners, is music and that which causes pain and annoyance is noise. At times, what is music for some can be noise for others.

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

Section 2(a) air pollution means any solid, liquid, or gaseous substance including noise present in the atmosphere such concentration as may be or tent to injurious to human beings or other living creatures or plants or property or environment.

Pollution is a noise derived from the verb pollute. Section 2 (c ) of the Environment (Protection ) Act, 1986 defines environmental pollution to mean the presence in the environment of any environmental pollutant. Section 2 (b) of the said Act defines environmental pollutants to means any solid, liquid, or gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be, or tends to be injurious to the environment.

Noise can be described as sound without agreeable musical quality or as an unwanted or undesired sound. Thus noise can be taken as a group of laud, non-harmonious sounds or vibrations that are unpleasant and irritating to the ear.


A decibel is a standard for the measurement of noise. The zero on a decibel scale is at the threshold of hearing, the lowest sound pressure that can be heard, on the scale acc. To smith, 20 dB is a whisper, 40 dB the noise in a quiet office. 60 dB is normal conversation, 80 dB is the level at which sound becomes physically painful.

The Noise quantum of some of the cities in our country indicates their pitch in decibel in the noisiest areas of corresponding cities, e.g. Delhi- 80 dB, Kolkata - 87, Bombay-85, Chennai-89 DB, etc.

Sources of Noise Pollution

Noise pollution like other pollutants is also a by-product of industrialization, urbanization, and modern civilization. Broadly speaking, the noise pollution has two sources, i.e. industrial and non- industrial. The industrial source includes noise from various industries and big machines working at a very high speed and high noise intensity. Non- industrial source of noise includes the noise created by transport/vehicular traffic and the neighborhood noise generated by various noise pollution can also be divided into the categories, namely, natural and manmade. Most leading noise sources will fall into the following categories: road traffic, aircraft, railroads, construction, industry, noise in buildings, and consumer products.

  1. Road Traffic Noise: In the city, the main sources of traffic noise are the motors and exhaust system of autos, smaller trucks, buses, and motorcycles. This type of noise can be augmented by narrow streets and tall buildings, which produce a canyon in which traffic noise reverberates.
  2. Air Craft Noise: Nowadays, the problem of low flying military aircraft has added a new dimension to community annoyance, as the nation seeks to improve its nap-of the- earth aircraft operations over national parks, wilderness areas, and other areas previously unaffected by aircraft noise has claimed national attention over recent years.
  3. Noise from railroads: The noise from locomotive engines, horns and whistles, and switching and shunting operation in rail yards can impact neighboring communities and railroad workers. For example, rail car retarders can produce a high frequency, high-level screech that can reach peak levels of 120 dB at a distance of 100 feet, which translates to levels as high as 138, or 140 dB at the railroad worker’s ear. 
  4. Construction Noise: The noise from the construction of highways, city streets, and buildings is a major contributor to the urban scene. Construction noise sources include pneumatic hammers, air compressors, bulldozers, loaders, dump trucks (and their back-up signals), and pavement breakers.
  5. Noise in Industry: Although industrial noise is one of the less prevalent community noise problems, neighbors of noisy manufacturing plants can be disturbed by sources such as fans, motors, and compressors mounted on the outside of buildings Interior noise can also be transmitted to the community through open windows and doors, and even through building walls. These interior noise sources have significant impacts on industrial workers, among whom noise-induced hearing loss is unfortunately common.
  6. Noise in building: Apartment dwellers are often annoyed by noise in their homes, especially when the building is not well designed and constructed. In this case, internal building noise from plumbing, boilers, generators, air conditioners, and fans, can be audible and annoying. Improperly insulated walls and ceilings can reveal the sound of-amplified music, voices, footfalls, and noisy activities from neighboring units. External noise from emergency vehicles, traffic, refuse collection, and other city noises can be a problem for urban residents, especially when windows are open or insufficiently glazed.
  7. Noise from Consumer products: Certain household equipment, such as vacuum cleaners and some kitchen appliances have been and continue to be noisemakers, although their contribution to the daily noise dose is usually not very large.
Harmful Effects

On Human Being, Animal and Property: Noise has always been with the human civilization but it was never so obvious, so intense, so varied & so pervasive as it is seen in the last of this century. Noise pollution makes men more irritable. The effect of noise pollution is multifaceted & interrelated. The effects of Noise Pollution on Human Being, Animal, and property are as follows:

  1. It decreases the efficiency of a man: Regarding the impact of noise on human efficiency, there is a number of experiments that print out the fact that human efficiency increases with noise reduction. A study by Sinha & Sinha in India suggested that reducing industrial booths could improve the quality of their work. Thus human efficiency is related to noise.
  2. Lack of concentration: For a better quality of work there should be concentration, Noise causes lack of concentration. In big cities, mostly all the offices are on the main road. The noise of traffic or the loudspeakers of different types of horns diverts the attention of the people working in offices.
  3. Fatigue: Because of Noise Pollution, people cannot concentrate on their work. Thus they have to give them more time for completing the work and they feel tiring.
  4. Abortion is caused: There should be a cool and calm atmosphere during pregnancy. Unpleasant sounds make a lady of irritative nature. Sudden Noise causes abortion in females.
  5. It causes Blood Pressure: Noise Pollution causes certain diseases in humans. It attacks the person’s peace of mind. The noises are recognized as major contributing factors in accelerating the already existing tensions of modern living. These tensions result in certain diseases like blood pressure or mental illness etc.
  6. Temporary of permanent Deafness: The effect of the nose on an audition is well recognized. Mechanics, locomotive drivers, telephone operators, etc. All have their hearing. Impairment as a result of noise at the place of work. Physicists, physicians & psychologists are of the view that continued exposure to the noise level above. 80 to 100 dB is unsafe, Loud noise causes temporary or permanent deafness.
  7. Effect on Vegetation (Poor quality of Crops): Now is well known to all that plants are similar to human beings. They are also as sensitive as men. There should be a cool & peaceful environment for better growth. Noise pollution causes poor quality of crops in a pleasant atmosphere.
  8. Effect on Animal: Noise pollution damage the nervous system of an animal. The animal loses control of its mind. They become dangerous.
  9. Effect on Property: Loud noise is very dangerous to buildings, bridges, and monuments. It creates waves that struck the walls and put the building in danger condition. It weakens the edifice of buildings.
Legal Control

Constitution of India:

  1. Right to Life: Article 21 of the Constitution guarantees life and personal liberty to all persons. It is well settled by repeated pronouncements of the Supreme Court that the right to life enshrined in Article 21 is not of mere survival or existence. It guarantees the right of persons to live with human dignity. Anyone who wishes to live in peace, comfort, and quiet within his house has a right to prevent the noise as pollutants reaching him.
  2. Right to Information: Everyone has the right to information know about the norms and conditions on which Govt. permits the industry which affects the environment.
Judiciary And Noise Pollution

In Raghunandan Prasad, the engine of a factory was causing noise so as to be a serious nuisance to be the people living in the neighborhood the forbade the working of the engine from 9 P.M. to 5 A.M.

In Mauj Raghu A rice mill working at night during the season will not disentitle the inhabitants of the locality to relief under this section if it is established that such working is a nuisance.

In Ram Avtar, The appellant carried on the trade of auctioning vegetables in a private house the noise caused by the auctioning caused discomfort to the person living in society. An order was passed restraining auctioning g of vegetables in their house. It was held by the supreme court that the order was not justified merely because the applicant carried on auctioning gin connection with which the carts were brought they could not be taken as the cause of the problem Section 133 was held not intended to stoop such trades merely because of discomfort caused by the noise.

In Himmat Singh Where there were fodder tals in a residential colony to which fodder was brought daily during nights by trucks which were unloaded in the morning and fodder was cut during the day by electric operated machines. It was held that the carrying on the trades causing intolerable noises emanating offensive smells and spreading dust containing articles of fodder cut was a public nuisance as noise pollution.