Metros face noise shutdown

Last Updated 14 January 2010, 19:59 IST

Night time has been defined as the period between 10 pm and 6 am when the restrictions will be in place. However, keeping the festivities in mind, individual states have been allowed to extend the night-time by another two hours (10 pm to mid-night) for 15 days a year. The states have to notify these dates in advance so that the public do not face any inconvenience.

The changes were brought in by the Union Environment Ministry on Monday after amending the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules.

“These amendments stress on making the night peaceful, particularly in the residential and sensitive areas like hospitals and schools where noise can have adverse impact on people’s health,” Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said here on Thursday.
To monitor the noise level and whether the states are adhering to the new norms, the Central Pollution Control Board will set up India’s first noise pollution monitoring network.
In the first phase, the network will come in seven metros — Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Lucknow. Each city will have 10 stations for monitoring the noise level.

Once the pilot network is up and running by September, it would be extended to additional 18 cities in 2011 with five stations each. The new noise pollution rules mark a clear distinction between private and public space and different noise levels have been fixed for these areas private and public areas.

The occupant of a private place — including those who hold fave parties in residential areas — have been told to restrict the volume of music system in such a way so that the noise emitting from its activity would not exceed the noise limit by more than 5 decibels.
The current rules regulated the noise levels in industrial (75 dB), commercial (65 dB) and residential zones (55 dB) besides demarcating 100 mt of silence zones near schools, hospitals and courts.

For both commercial and residential areas, the day time (6 am to 10 pm) noise level can be 10 dB higher than the night-time ceiling, whereas for industrial areas only 5 dB increase during the day time was permitted.

In public place – auditorium, hotels, public waiting rooms, convention centres, public offices, shopping malls, cinema halls, educational institutions, libraries, open ground and other similar places accessed by the public – the noise level should not exceed the maximum permissible limit by more than 10 dB. The states will have to designate an appropriate authority – district magistrate or police commissioner or any other official – for maintaining the ambient standards.
DH News Service

(Published 14 January 2010, 19:59 IST)

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