1. Definition: -
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. Environment 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.1
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 others2
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
According to Encyclopedia Britannica: In acoustic noise is defined as any
In chambers 21st Century Dictionary the definition of noise has undergone a
change. Noise pollution stands carved out as phrase separately from noise. The
two are defined as under:
Noise- a sound; a harsh disagreeable sound, or such sound; a din. Pollution-
an excessive or annoying degree of noise in a particular area, e.g. from traffic
or aero plane engines.
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 pollutant to means any solid, liquid or
gaseous substance present in such concentration as may be ,or tends to be
injurious to 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 ear.
A decibel is the 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 whisper, 40 db the noise in a quiet
office . 60 db is normal conversation, 80 db is the level at which sound becomes
The Noise quantum of some of the cities in our country indicate their pitch in
decibel in the nosiest areas of corresponding cities, e.g. Delhi- 80 db,
Kolkata - 87,Bombay-85, Chennai-89 db etc.
3 Sources of Noise Pollution:- Noise pollution like other pollutants is also a
by- product of industrialization, urbanizations and modern civilization.
Broadly speaking , the noise pollution has two sources, i.e. industrial and non-
industrial. The industrial source includes the 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 in the categories , namely, natural and manmade. Most leading noise
sources will fall into the following categories: roads 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: -
Now-a-days , 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
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 soundof-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
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.
4 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 & inter
related. The effects of Noise Pollution on Human Being, Animal and property are
I It decreases the efficiency of a man:- Regarding the impact of noise on human
efficiency there are number of experiments which 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 with noise.
II Lack of concentration:-
For better quality of work there should be
concentration , Noise causes lack of concentration. In big cities , mostly all
the offices are on main road. The noise of traffic or the loud speakers of
different types of horns divert the attention of the people working in offices.
III Fatigue:- Because of Noise Pollution, people cannot concentrate on their
work. Thus they have to give their more time for completing the work and they
IV Abortion is caused: - There should be cool and calm atmosphere during the
pregnancy. Unpleasant sounds make a lady of irriative nature. Sudden Noise
causes abortion in females.
V It causes Blood Pressure: -
Noise Pollution causes certain diseases in human.
It attacks on 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 disease like blood pressure or mental
VI Temporary of permanent Deafness:-
The effect of nose on 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. Physictist,
physicians & psychologists are of the view that continued exposure to noise
level above. 80 to 100 db is unsafe, Loud noise causes temporary or permanent
VII EFFECT ON
VEGETATION Poor quality of Crops:- Now is well known to all that
plants are similar to human being. They are also as sensitive as man. There
should be cool & peaceful environment for their better growth. Noise pollution
causes poor quality of crops in a pleasant atmosphere.
VIII EFFECT ON ANIMAL:-
Noise pollution damage the nervous system of animal.
Animal looses the control of its mind. They become dangerous.
IX EFFECT ON PROPERTY:- Loud noise is very dangerous to buildings, bridges and
monuments. It creates waves which struck the walls and put the building in
danger condition. It weakens the edifice of buildings.
5 Legal Control:-
(a) Constitution of India
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 right to life enshrined in Article 21 is not of mere
survival or existence. It guarantees a right of persons to life with human
dignity. Any one who wishes to live in peace, comfort and quiet within his house
has a right to prevent the noise as pollutant reaching him.
Right to Information:- Every one has the right to information know about the
norms and conditions on which Govt. permit the industry which effect the
Right to Religion and Noise:- Right to religion does not include right to
perform religious activities on loud speaker and electronic goods which produce
high velocity of noise.
Directive Principal of State Policy:-
The state has the object to make the enviorment pollution free.
every citizen of the country has the fundamental duty to
clean the environment.
(b) Cr.P.C. Section 133
Here Section 133 is of great importance. Under Crpc. Section 133 the magisterial
court have been empowered to issue order to remove or abate nuisance caused by
noise pollution Sec 133 empower an executive magistrate to interfere and remove
a public nuisance in the first instance with a conditional order and then with a
permanent one. The provision can be utilized in case of nuisance of environment
nature. He can adopt immediate measure to prevent danger or injury of a serious
land to the public. For prevention of danger to human life, health or safety the
magistrate can direct a person to abstain from certain acts.
(c) I.P.C. Public Nuisance 268-295
Chapter IV of Indian Penal code deals with offences relating to public health,
safety, ....decency , morals under Sections 268, 269, 270, 279, 280, 287, 288,
290 291 294. Noise pollution can be penalized with the help of above section.
Private remedies suits in the area may related to public nuisance under A299.
This article punishment in case of Public nuisance law of torts covers. A person
is guilty of public nuisance who does any act or is guilty of an illegal
omission which causes any common injury, danger, or annoyance to the pubic or to
the people in general who dwell or occupy property in the vicinity or which must
necessarily cause injury, obstruction danger or annoyance to persons who may
have occasion to use any public right. A common nuisance is not excused on the
ground that it causes some convenience or advantage.
Who ever commits a public nuisance in any case not otherwise punishable by this
code, shall be punished with fine, which may extend to Rs. 200.
(d) Law of Torts Noise pollution is considered as civil wrong:-
Under law of
torts , a civil suit can be filed claiming damages for the nuisance. For filing
a suit under law of torts a plaintiff is required to comply with some of the
requirement of tort of nuisance which are as follows:-
1. There should be reasonable interference.
2. Interference should be with the use & enjoyment of land.
3. In an action for nuisance actual damage is required to be proved. As a
general rule either the presence or absence of malice does not matter. But in
some cases deviation from the rule has been made.
In Christe Vs Davey The extent of noise & the amount of disturbance caused there
by was ignored & it was held that the noise which arose due to the practice of
lawful profession, & without any malice, could not be considered to be
In Hollywood Silver Fox Farm Ltd. Vs Emmett It was held that presence of malice
was a factor in determining liability for noise amounting to nuisance. The court
said that even on his won land was nuisance, & the defendant was liable in
(e) Factories Act Reduction of Noise and Oil of Machinery:-
The Factories Act
does not contain any specific provision for noise control. However, unde the
Third Schedule Sections 89 and 90 of the Act, noise induced hearing loss, is
mentioned as notifiable disease. Similarly, under the Modal Rules, limits for
noise exposure for work zone area have been prescribed.
(f) Motor Vehicle Act. Provision Relation to use of horn and change of Engine:-
In Motor veichle Act rules regarding use horns and any modification in engine
(g) Noise Pollution Control Rule 2000 under Environment Protection Act 1996 :-
Further for better regulation for noise pollution There are The Noise Pollution
( Regulation and Control ) Rules, 2000 – in order to curb the growing problem of
noise pollution the government of India has enacted the noise pollution rules
2000 that includes the following main provisions:-
# The state government may categories the areas in the industrial or commercial
# The ambient air quality standards in respect of noise for different areas have
# State government shall take measure for abatement of noise including noise
emanating from vehicular movement and ensure that the existing noise levels do
not exceed the ambient air quality standards specified under these rules.
# An area not less than 100 m around hospitals educations institutions and court
may be declare as silence are for the purpose of these rules.
# A loud speaker or a public address system shall not be used except after
obtaining written permission from the authority and the same shall not be used
at night. Between 10 pm to 6 am
# A person found violating the provisions as to the maximum noise permissible in
any particular area shall be liable to be punished for it as per the provision
of these rules and any other law in force.
(see rule 3(l) and 4(l)
Ambient Air Quality Standards in respect of Noise
Area Code Category of Area/Zone Limits in dB(A) Leq *
Day Time NightTime
(A) Industrial area 75 70
(B) Commercial area 65 55
(C) Residential area 55 45
(D) Silence Zone 50 40
*dB(A) Leq denotes the time weighted average of the level of sound in decibels
on scale A which is relatable to human hearing. A "decibel" is a unit in which
noise is measured. "A", in dB(A) Leq, denotes the frequency weighting in the
measurement of noise and corresponds to frequency response characteristics of
the human ear. Leq : It is an energy mean of the noise level, over a specified
6 Judiciary And Noise Pollution :-
In Raghunandan Prasad5 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 engine from 9 P.M. to 5 A.M.
In Mauj Raghu6 A rice mill working at night during season will not disentitle
the inhabitants of locality to relief under this section if it is established
that such working is a nuisance.
In Ram Avtar7 The appellant carried on a trade of auctioning vegetable in
private house the noise caused by the auctioning caused discomfort to person
living in society. An order was passed restraining auctioning g of vegetable in
the their house. It was held by 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 cause of problem Section 133 was
held not intended to stoop such trades merely because of discomfort caused by
In Himmat Singh8 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 public
nuisance as noise pollution.
Some other important cases are also have great relevance in this regard:
In Govind singh9 the court examined the emerging parameters of public nuisance.
The supreme court on special leave to appeal noted that the evidence disclosed
the emission of smoke injurious to health and physical comfort of people living
or working in the proximity of appellant bakery and held this as a case of
In Maulan Mufti Syed and Other10 V. State Of West Bengal AIR 1999 CAL 15 The
court held imposition of restriction on the use of microphone and loud speakers
by the state government between 9 pm to 7 am which inter alia include recitation
of azan on microphone in early hours before 7 AM is not violative of Article 25
of constitution guaranteeing of freedom of religion.
Latest authority of supreme court is a land mark judgment in the field of noise
In Re: Noise Pollution11 Following important observations have been made by
Supreme court regarding noise pollution which are discussed as follows:-
Facts of the case:
Anil mittal an engineer filed this case . the immediate reason for this was that
a 13 years old girl was a victim of rape he cries for held and went unheard due
to blaring sound of loudspeakers noise music over loud speakers in the neighbor
hood. the Petitioner complain of noise created by the use of loudspeakers being
used in religious performances or singing bhajans and the like in busy
commercial hi fi audio systems are used.
- There are rules framed by the government regarding noise pollution and known
as Noise Pollution control and Regulation Rules, 1999. On 11-10-2002 govt
brought in an amendment in the rules. The amendment empowered the state
government to permit use of loudspeakers or public address system during night
hours between 10 pm to 12 pm in the mid night on or during the cultural or
religious occasions for a limited period not exceeding 15 days.
- In this case supreme observed that Right to life enshrined in Article 21 is
not of mere survival or existence. It guarantees a right of persons to life with
human dignity. There in are included all the aspects of life which go to make a
person life meaningful complete and worth living. Every body who wished to live
in peace , comfort and quiet with in his house has a right to prevent the noise
as pollutant reaching him. No one claim a right to noise to create noise even in
his own premises which would travel beyond his precincts and cause nuisance to
neighbors or others.
We have made the law relating to noise pollution but there is
need to creating general awareness towards the hazardous effects of noise
pollution. Particularly, in our country the people generally lack consciousness
of the ill effects which noise pollution creates ad how the society including
they themselves stand to beneficiary preventing generation and emission of noise
pollution. The target area should be educational institutions and more
particularly school. The young children of impressionable age should be
motivated to desist from playing with firecrackers, use of high sound producing
equipments and instruments on festivals, religious and social functions, family
get-togethers and celebrations etc. which cause noise pollution. Suitable
chapters can be added into textbooks, which teach civic sense to the children
and teach them how to be good and responsible citizen which would include
learning by heart of various fundamental duties and that would obliviously
include learning not to create noise pollution and to prevent if generated by
others. Holding of special talks and lectures can be organized in the schools to
highlight the menance of noise pollution and the role of the children in
preventing it . For these purpose the state must pay its role by the support and
cooperation of non-government organizations (NGOs) can also be enlisted.
1. P.S. Jaiswal and Nistha Jaiswal – Environmental Law, Second End. 2003,p.327
2. [Parivesh News Letter: Central Pollution Control Board, December, 1996].
3. Vol. 16 , 1968, p. 558.
4. Infra 11
5. ( 1931) 53 ALL 706
6. ( 1964) 2 CrLJ 94
7. ( 1963) SSCR 9 AIR 1962 SC 1794
8. Himmat Singh v. Bhagwan Ram (1988 CrLJ 614 Rajasthan
9. Govind singh v. Shanti Swaroop AIR 1979 SC 143
10. In Maulan Mufti Syed and Other8 V. STATE OF WEST BENGAL AIR 1999 CAL 15
11. In re: Noise Pollution Implementation of The Laws For Restriction Use of
Loudspeakers And High Volume Producing Sound Systems with Forum, Prevention of Enivornment And Sound Pollution versus Union of India And Another
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