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War Against Noise Pollution: Laws To Control It

Noise is a type of atmospheric pollution. It is one of the public enemies which can neither be seen or rather it can be touched, but it can be listen through the ears and whose growing menace has been increased in the modern age. In today's world the problem of noise pollution has been emerged as one of the serious problems and it has become a serious challenge to the healthy environment.

In fact, the noise of dhol, dhapli, bigul and shankh which is in the root of our Indian culture since the advent of the primitive societies. During the earliest times people used the beat of drums as one of the safest means to protect their life against the wild animals and also used for various religious ceremonies. But in modern days the intensity and frequency of noise has increased so much it is posing a real threat in human life. In this topic, we will be discussing about the meaning, causes of noise pollution and legislative and non-legislative measures to control noise pollution.

Meaning Of Noise Pollution:

The term 'Noise Pollution' has not been defined anywhere in the central legislative. But however, the term has been described in the Environmental Protection Act. 1986 as an environmental pollutant and empowers the central government to frame rules prescribing the maximum permissible limits for noise in different areas.[1]

The word noise has been derived from the Latin word nausea. It has been defined as unwanted sound, a potential health hazard tom health and communication dumped into environment without regard to the adverse effect it may on unwilling ears.

Pollution is a noun which is derived from the word pollute. Sec 2(c) of the Environmental protection Act of 1986 defines �environmental pollution� as an environmental pollutant to mean any solid, liquid and gaseous substance present in the such type as it may intend to cause some harmful effect from it.

From this we could say that noise is an unpleasant sound and when it comes to the public and causes some harmful effects to the environment then it will be stated as Noise pollution.

Permissible noise level in India
In industrial areas, the permissible limit is particularly 75 dB for daytime and 70 dB at night. In commercial areas, it is 65 dB and 55 dB, while in residential areas it is 55 dB and 45 dB during daytime and night respectively.

Causes of Noise Pollution:
Particularly speaking about the noise pollution, they have been classified under two categories such as:
  1. Natural Causes
    The natural causes of the noise pollution mainly are air noise, volcanoes, thunderstorms, lightning and normal sound of living organisms.
  2. Man Made cause:
    There are several human causes which creates serious problems of noise pollution such as:
    1. Industrial sounds.
    2. Transport sounds.
    3. Agricultural machines.
    4. Loudspeakers and crackers etc.
These are some of the sources of noise pollution now will be discussing about what are the major side effects of noise pollution which causes serious problem and even led to death of human being.

Effects Of Noise Pollution:

In today's world noise pollution has become one of the serious problems and also one of the major pollutants like air and water. As mentioned above, it can lead to serious side effects to the normal human life and the healthy environmental life.

Auditory effects
Noise damages the ear and it also causes the temporary or permanent noise induced hearing loss. Auditory effects may lead to temporary hearing loss or also permanent hearing loss.

Effect on cardiovascular system
Not only causes annoyance but it also causes annoyance and irritation and it does also constrict the arteries and increases the flow of adrenaline and forces the heart to work more faster thereby it increases the rate of cardiac ailments such as heart attacks. It can also lead to high blood pressure and also because of this it also increases the cholesterol level in the body.

Hormonal imbalance
Noise is such a bad pollutant which causes anxiety, stress to a normal human life and some time tension which leads to hormonal imbalance in the body and produces many diseases. It enhances the susceptibility of animals to the viral diseases and eventually leads to death of the animals and also gets extinct at that point of time.

Because of noise pollution it can also lead to seriousness of birth defects also. So we need to control it by some effective measures to control it. And it can be controlled by some legislative and non- legislative measures, and here in the next section we will be discussing about how to control noise pollution

Measures To Control Noise Pollution:

As mentioned earlier, that the noise is one of the threatening agents and can also cause some serious ailments to human beings and other living organisms. So therefore, we need some measures to control noise pollution.

Non- legislative measures:
It can be controlled by non-legislative measures such as:
  1. Use of amplifiers and loudspeakers should be restricted at a fixed intensity and hours of the day. Radios, transistors and TV sets at home shall be keep at a very low so that it should not disturb others.
  2. The press and media should educate to the citizen to not to create the noise pollution in the area and also educate to them that there could be some serious effects on the human life and the heathy environmental life.
  3. A check is required to be taken whether the industries which creates noise pollution and give them some guidelines to not to create more noise than it required in the commercial area.

Legislative measures:
For noise pollution we require some legislative and parliamentary measures to protect the environment.

Noise Pollution control as per Indian Penal code:
Noise has been considered as one of the public nuisances under sec 268 of IPC[2] and thus it is the criminal liability of a person relating to illegal omission resulting in a common injury, danger or annoyance to the public in general. But the punishment has been made under sec 290 of the Indian Penal Code which talks about that whosoever commits a public nuisance in any case not otherwise punishable by this code shall be punished with fine which may extend to two hundred rupees.

Control of noise pollution under other central legislations:
The Police Act of 1861:
Sec 30(4) of the Police Act of `1861 covers the problems of noise arising from music which is one of the aspects of noise pollution. Under this superintendent of police are authorized to regulate the extent music could be used in the streets on the occasion of festivals and ceremonies.

The Air craft Act 1854,
In this Act there is no such provision under the Air craft Act 1934 for controlling noise pollution. However, under this Act, Govt is authorized to make rules for the protection of public health and the good environment at large.

Control through constitutional provisions:
As far as the Indian constitution is concerned Article 21 of the Indian constitution talks about the right to Life and under that Right to have free and healthy environment and also through the Forty second amendment added a new Directive principle which is Article 48 A dealing specifically with protection of environment: -

The state shall endeavor to protect and improve the environmental and to safeguard the forest and wildlife of the country.

Judicial Interpretation:
In Subhash Kumar v state of Bihar [3]the Supreme court observed that: -

Right to life is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian constitution and it includes the right of enjoyment of pollution free water and air for full enjoyment of life.

In the case of T Damodar Rao v Municipal Corporation Hyderabad,[4]
The supreme court observed that The slow poisioning by the polluted atmosphere caused by environmental pollution and spoilation should also be regarded as amounting to violation of Art 21, of the Indian constitution.

So, from this we can say that there should be control of noise pollution if it is not controlled then it can cause serious problem to the environment and human beings, and animal and other living organisms. So therefore, it requires proper control and regulation for that purpose.

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