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A Study Of Noise Pollution Control Laws In India By - Khushi Patel

A Study Of Noise Pollution Control Laws In India


Authored By - Khushi Patel

Batch: BBA LLB (2020-2025)


Noise is Type of atmospheric pollution. The word “Noise” is derive from Latin Term “nausea”. “Pollution” is a noun derive from the verd “pollute” It has been defined as “unwanted sound.” In the Indian culture, people use the beat of drum as the safest mean to protect their lives against the wild animal, in Mahabharat, noise has been causing of death of guru dronachary. Indian farmers used to make a noise of drums to to keep wild animal way from the crops.


“Noise Pollution” expression is nowhere defined under central legislative Act. But Noise pollution is acknowledge under umbrella legislation “Environment (Protection) Act, 1986”, and delegate power to the central Government to frame Rules prescribing the maximum permissible limits for noise in the different areas[1].  The amendment to the Air(Prevention and control of pollution) Act include “Noise” in the definition of the “Air pollution”[2].  The Noise is define as follow “In acoustics noise is define as any undesired sound. According to this definition, a sound of church bells may be music to some and noise to other. Usually, noise is a mixture of many tones combination in non-musical manner”[3], “Noise by definition is unwanted sound. What is pleasant to some ears may be extremely unpleasant to other. Depending on a number of psychological factor. The sweetest music if it disturbs person who is trying to concentrate or to sleep is noise to him just as a sound of pneumatic riveting hammer is a noise to nearly every one. In other words, sound may be noise if circumstance cause it to


be disturbing”[4]. The undesirable sound of various kinds is known as/ consider as noise pollution by which the disturbance is produce in our environment.





The measure of noise is known as a Decibel. The word decibel is a made of two word—‘Del’, which means 10 and ‘bel’, which has been taken from the name of the scientist Graham Bell, who invented it. The system of the physical unit or the SI unit for measurement of noise is decibel (dB). In the logarithmic scale, the formula of a decibel of sound is expressed as: dB = 10* log10. The dB for a barely audible noise would be 10 * log1, and log1 = 0. Hence the dB would be 0. A tenfold increase in sound intensity increase loudness by 10 dB. The quietest sound that man’s ear can detect is known as threshold of hearing. Noise research have shown that 30 dB comes near whispering range and 60 dB donate the level of normal talk. Noise level in excess of 90 dB can cause loss of hearing and irrepressible changes in the nervous system. WHO has fixed 45 dB as the safest noise level for a city, through the four metropolitan cities of Bombay, New Delhi, Calcutta and Madras have usually registered more then 90 dB and Bombay has been rated as the third noisiest city in the world. By the international standards, a noise level up to 65 dB is considered tolerable[5].


Sr. No

Sound source and type of sound

dB Decibels

Sound intensity factor (SIF)


Effects Cause


Faintiest audible sound






Normal breathing and rustling of leaves



Hardly audible



Sound of very quiet place (Home or office)



Very quit



Soft whisper (library)



Not very quiet

Disturb peace of mind health and comfort


Average living room (Low volume radio)






Noise of quite restaurant and light traffic noise






Space vehicle launch

180 and above





Hearing automobiles traffic jet aircraft up to 30m height

1 0 0 - 110

1010 – 10n





Like other pollution is also happen through the by-product of industrialization, urbanization, and modern civilization. There is 2 main origins of the noise pollution i.e. Industrial and non- industrial. The industrial source encompasses the noise from the numerous industries and big machine working at a very high speed and high noise intensity. Non-industrial source of noise encompasses the noise created by transport/vehicular traffic and the neighbourhood noise generated by various household electric, electronics, and other gadget. Also, the noise pollution is divided into different categories, namely, natural and mandate.


  1. Natural Cause Of Noise Pollution

Air noise, volcanoes, seas, river, waterfall, thundering sound and lightening in the sky, and exchanging voice of living organisms including man and animal were considered as a The natural cause of noise of pollution.


  1. Man-Made Causes of noise pollution 
  1. Textile miles, printing press, engineering establishment, metal work and bottling machines etc, industries along with the several other industry are also responsible for the noise pollution.
  2. Traffic noise, except for the new generation of electric cars and bike almost all the vehicles release a high amount of the noise. India is already the second most populous country in the world and lot of people own either a four-wheeler or two wheeler vehicle or both. Bike release around 90 dB of noise[6].
  3. Air-Craft Noise, Passenger planes, cargo planes, low flying navy aircraft they all combine collectively to purpose extra noise pollutants. Jet aircraft dB decibel is 150.
  4. Noise because of commercial and commercial sports, Globalisation and Modernisation of India has caused an emphatic growth in some of massive industries, Most of the industries require heavy equipment to paintings and characteristic.
  5. Social gatherings, Parties, spiritual ceremonies, clubs and many others they all fall below the category of party or occasion. Even such social gatherings additionally create pretty a nuisance and reason a large amount of noise pollutants. 
  6. Defence materials i.e. rocket, tanks, artillery, shooting practices, bomb and war explosives were creating a noise pollution.
  7. Tractor, trollies, harvester all agriculture machines also make a noise pollution.
  8. During festival time in India people use fire cracker and loudspeaker due which noise pollution is rising.
  9. All the entertainment source are also spread lot of noise pollution.
  10. Domestic gadgets The scope of noises from domistic  resources are too massive but a few standard examples would be barking of dogs, playing, utilization of diverse kitchen home equipment and greater. Even such actions motive noise pollutants within the environment.


In the Morden days noise has become one of the major pollutants and it has serious effect on human health.  noise pollutants however the fact is noise pollution is dangerous to humans, animals, and the environment. Initially, now noise pollutants become  not obvious and it did not purpose tons issue however inside the closing century noise pollutants has been pervasive and extreme. Effect of noise depend upon sound’s pitch, its frequency and time pattern and length of exposure.


Lack of awareness which resulting Noise pollutants in loss of attention in many individuals. If a work surroundings is quiet then outcome is better productiveness of employees of the companies . High stage of noise can cause complications that may act as a barrier for a excessive stage of concentration.


Blood pressure, Noise pollution escalate the anxiety of the person. These tensions in addition put strain in a person’s intellectual health and as a result, it leads to excessive blood strain.


Abortion, During the transport of a infant there may be an absolute requirement for a cool and calm environment, if there is too much noise then it irritates the child and it could really cause abortion.


Deafness, This is effortlessly one of the most common dangerous results of noise pollutants. If a person exposes themselves to a excessive degree of noise for an prolonged period of time it is able to effortlessly motive temporary or permanent deafness in a man or women.


Effects on flora and plants, Plants are like people or even they may be touchy to loud noises. When plants are exposed to too much noise then the quality of the vegetation extensively reduces.

Wild life, Noise pollutants is specially very dangerous for animals. Their anxious gadget is broken due to noise pollutants. Since they do now not have the intelligence of humans so they are much greater susceptible to the sick effects of noise pollutants as compared to humans[7].


Noise has both auditory and non-auditory effect depending upon the intensity and the duration of the noise level

  1. Auditory effect

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

  1. Temporary hearing loss

The temporary hearing loss is a physiological phenomenon, which is reversible. Temporary loss of hearing occurs when the ear is exposed for a short duration to excessive noise or when the ear is exposed to the noise at damaging intensities for sufficiently long period of time. Sudden noise is more harmful then the continuous one.

The hearing limit of noise in man is about 140dB. Human ears feel fatigue if exposed to over 80 dB for more then half an hour. It causes temporary defence if the loudness of the noise is 100 dB and it’s painful at 140 dB. 

  1. Permanent hearing loss

If the intensity and the duration of the noise is high then it leads to permanent loss of hearing. It is an irreversible loss of hearing and is caused by either prolonged noise exposure of high intensity noise or it may be caused when the intensity of the noise is more then 140 dB. When a stage is reached at which hearing loss no longer return to its original level, it is called noise induced hearing loss or permanent threshold shift.

  1. Non-auditory effect

Noise also caused various psychological and pathological disorder. The non-auditory effect of the noise as under:

  1. Annoyance: Noise cause annoyance, which leads to ill temper, bickering, mental disordered and violent behaviour.
  2. Effect on communication: Noise affect verbal communication on which we depend in all kinds of environment.
  3. Disturbance in sleep: Noise is also cause disturbance in sleep. Noise not only affect the depth of sleep but also the type of sleep. The intensity of noise, which disturb the sleep, is not the same for all the people. Generally specking, the sound of 40 dB is sufficient to disturb the sleep.
  4. Increase in still birth rates and birth defects: it has been observed  that there have been highly stipulated that there is emotional disorder among the individual living nearby the airport. It was analysis by the medical team and they uncover that there is a occurrence of a birth defect, stillbirth and usually low weight among children born to mother living situated near the airport. According to the research made by Dr. Nowell Jones, professor of psychology at the university of California, of more then 2,25,000 birth child in Los Angeles, which proved that there were more birth defect among the babies whose mother lived in noise polluted area near the international airport compared to those who lived in quieter places. Similar study were also conducted near London’s Heathrow airport and the similar result were found. Neonatal development is affected if the expectant mother is subjected to continuous noise stress during pregnancy. The result (sic) conducted by medical expert, may or may not be accurate, but deserves serious condition.
  5. Loss of efficiency: it is an established fact that noise directly demolished the working efficiency and it enhance chances for accidents.
  6. Hormonal effects: Noise also cause anxiety, stress and some time fears, which disturb the body’s hormonal balance and produce many disease. Noise enhance the susceptibility of animal to viral diseases, which may result in the formation of cancerous tumours.
  7. Effect on reproductive system: noise also has effect on reproductive cycle of different living organisms. Noise can temporarily diminish sexual feeling. It has an adverse effect on egg laying and hatching in many birds.
  8. Effect on nervous system: the health expert are of opinion that excessive noise can also impair the development of nervous breakdown. Noise also impair the development of nervous system of unborn babies which leads to abnormal behaviour in normal life.
  9. Miscellaneous effect: it has been found that in certain case noise is the root cause of various health hazards. It cause skin to became pale, dilation of pupil, muscle tension and reduction of gastric activity, which affect the digestive system.



As the problem of noise pollution has already crossed the danger point and noise, like smog, is threatening as a slow agent of death, it is essential to take preventive and protective measures. These measures include non-legislative as well as legislative:

  1. Statutory provision related to the noise pollution (legislative provision):

For the protection of the environment from noise pollution it is essential to adopt certain legislative measure. it is an establish fact that most or the cause of noise pollution are man made. law is a regulate the human conduct and thus through legislative measure we can regulate the human conduct to reduce the man made cause of noise pollution. in England there is Noise abatement act,1960.


  1. Constitution of India:

To protect and improve the environment the constitution of India put obligation on the ‘State’ as well as ‘Citizen’. The constitution 42 Amendment Ct, 1976, added a new directive principal in Article 48-A dealing specifically with protection and improvement of environment. It provides:

The state shall endeavour to protect and improv the natural the environment and to safeguard the forest and wildlife of the country.

The same amendment also added a fundamental duty of the Citizens under Article 51-A(g), which provides:

It shall be the duty of every citizen to protect and improve the natural environment including forest forests, lakes, river, and wildlife and to have compassion for living creatures.

In the case of T. Damodhar Rao V. Municipal Corporation, Hyderabad[8], through judicial interpretation it has been held that right to live in healthy environment is a part of Article 21 of the constitution. In the case it was observed:

It would be reasonable to hold that the enjoyment of life and its attainment and fulfilment guaranteed by Article 21 of the constitution embrace the protection and preservation of nature’s gift without (Which) life cannot be enjoyed. There can be no reason why practice of violent extinguishment of life alone should be regarded as violative of Article 21 of the constitution. The slow poisoning by the polluted atmosphere caused by environmental pollution and spoliation should also be regarded as amounting to violation of Article 21 of the Indian Constitution.


In Subhash Kumar V. State of Bihar[9], the supreme court observed:

Right to live is a fundamental right under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution and it include the right of enjoyment of pollution-free water and air for full enjoyment of life.

Article 19(1)(g) provide the freedom to all citizens to practice any profession or to carry on any occupation, trade or business. But the said freedom is not absolute and it is subject to reasonable restrictions. No person can carry on any profession, occupation, trade or business if it causes nuisance (including noise) to other person[10].  


  1. The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the environment (Protection) rules, 1986:

To forbid, regulate and abet the environment pollution in the nation, the central government legislate “The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986”, this Act determine the various expression i.e. “Environment” “Environmental pollution” “Noise pollution” under section 2, hence the “Noise Pollution” is not specifically define under section 2 but “Noise Pollution” is interpreted under section 2 of The Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. section 6 of the Act authorise the central government to construct a rules and regulation for prevent and abet the noise Pollution in the country.

Noise limits for vehicles at manufacturing stage applicable on and from 1 April, 2005[11]   


Type of Vehicle

Noise Limit dB(A)


Two Wheelers



Displacement up to 80 cc



Displacement more then 80 cc but up to 175 cc



Displacement more then 175 cc



Three Wheelers



Displacement up to 175 cc



Displacement more then 175 cc



Vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and capable of having not more then nine seats, including the driver’s seat



Vehicles used for the carriage of passengers and capable of having not more then nine seats, including the driver’s seat and maximum gross vehicle weight (GVW) of more then 3.5 tonnes



With an engine power less the 150 KW



With an engine power of 150 KW or above



Vehicles used for the carriage of goods



With maximum GVW not exceeding 2 tonnes



With a maximum GVW greater then 3 tones but not exceeding 3.5 tonnes



Vehicles used for the transport of goods with a maximum GVW exceeding 3.5 tones



With an engine power less then 75 KW



With an engine power of 75 KW or above but less then 150 KW



With an Engine Power of 150 KW or above




  1. Noise Pollution (Regulation and control) Rules, 2000:

For controlling the Noise pollution problem, the High Court of Orissa recommend different measure, inter alia, suggested that separate Courts regarding noise pollution may be constitute and both Central Government and State Government should consider the desirability of having adequate legislative measure to prevent growing menace which through appears to be ‘silent’ has in fact potentialities of producing a future generation of deaf person[12].


Cluse(II) of sub section (2) of section 3, sub-section (1) and clause (b) of sub-section (2) of section 6 and section 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 read with Rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rule, 1986, enacted the Noise pollution (Regulation and Control) Rule,2000, authorised the Central Government.

Ambient Air quality standard in respect of noise for different areas/ zones (Rule 3):

  1. The Ambit air quality standards in respect of noise for different area/zone shall be as such as specified in the Schedule Which is given Under:-

Area Code

Category of area/zone

Limits of dB (a) leq* Day Time Night Time


Industrial area




Commercial area




Residence area




Silence area



             Responsibility as to enforcement of noise pollution control measure (Rule 4):

  1. The noise levels in any area/ zone shall not exceed the ambit air quality standards in respect of noise as specified in the schedule.
  2. The authority shall be responsible for enforcement of noise pollution control measure and the due compliance of the ambit air quality standard in respect of noise.

Restriction on the use of loud specker/public address  system and sound preceding instrument (Rule 5)

Restrictions on the use of horns, sound emitting construction equipment and bursting of fire crackers (Rule 5-A)

Complaint to be made to the authority (Rule 7)

Power to prohibited, etc., continuance of music sound or noise (Rule 8)

The supreme court pointed out that even through the rule are unambiguous there is lack of awareness among the citizen as well as the implementation authorities about the rule or their duty to implement the same. Noise pollution activities are rampant and yet for one reason or the other, the aforesaid rules or the rules framed under various other Acts are not enforceable[13]


  1. The Code of Criminal Procedure[14]

Section 133 of The Code of Criminal Procedure authorise the magistrate, district magistrate or sub-divisional Justice of the Peace to conditionally get rid of something this is inflicting a nuisance.

So, this provision can be used or utilised in case of nuisance as a result of noise. So if the govt Justice of the Peace, district Justice of the Peace or sub-divisional Justice of the Peace receives a record from a police officer or from a few other source that loud noises are causing unlawful obstruction or nuisance and the source of such loud noises have to be eliminated from public locations that are lawfully used by the public then the executive magistrate, district Justice of the Peace or sub-divisional Justice of the Peace within a hard and fast time can order elimination of such nuisance. If the government magistrate, district magistrate or sub-divisional magistrate does not take the specified movement then, in that case, this phase may be referred to as into question in a Civil Court.


  1. Indian Penal Code:[15]

Chapter 14 of the Indian Penal Code offers positive offenses. Such offenses are any motion that impacts public fitness or safety. Section 268, Section 287, Section 288, Section 290, Section 291, and Section 294 offer noise pollutants.


Section 268 talks approximately public nuisance and any person who is responsible for any public nuisance if that individual commits an act that could reason damage to any individual, which may aggravate the general public or could cause any trendy obstruction. So causing noise pollutants additionally come under the provisions of Section 268.


Section 287 talks approximately the irresponsible use of any machinery. Any character who irresponsibly handles any machinery which later causes harm or damage to a person. So if someone is inflicting noise pollutants with a system, then that person may entice imprisoned for up to 6 months or an exceptional of Rs—a thousand.


Section 288 states that once a construction is under the technique of production or repairmen then in that case if someone negligently reasons harm to a person then that person is chargeable for imprisonment for a term of 6 months together with an exceptional of Rs. One thousand. Now during the production or restoration of homes, there may be large noise pollutants. So much noise pollution can without problems result in harming a man or woman or the general public and if something like that occurs then the offender is punished beneath Section 288 of the Indian Penal Code.


Section 290 talks approximately another shape of public nuisance which has no longer been cited in the Indian Penal Code. So essentially if there's any noise-associated incident that has now not been mentioned below the code and such noise-associated incident is causing some form of a public nuisance then, if so, the culprit is served an excellent of Rs. 2 hundred.


Section 291 states that if a person nonetheless keeps causing public nuisance even if the man or woman has been served injunction by a Court of regulation and such injunction is already ordering the person to no longer repeat such acts then if so the person is punished with imprisonment of 6 months or he may be fined.


Section 294 talks about indecent songs and it further kingdom if someone performs or recites or sings such indecent songs then in that he is causing a nuisance. Such a perpetrator is jailed for a time period of 3 months with high-quality or both.


Low of torts: Noise pollution can be included under the offence of nuisance under the law of torts. Any person who is facing an issue due to such noise pollution can file a civil suit to claim damages. As long as there is interference in the use of land by the person due to the noise pollution and the person can prove such damages then in that case the person can file a suit related to such noise pollution.

  1. Non legislative measure:
  1. Noise at source can be controlled by proper designed and fabricating silencing devise and their proper use in jet planes, air craft, truck etc.
  2. Plantations of the trees i.e. Neem and Ashoka  on both the side of the rode can decrees the pollution.
  3. Keep low volume of the loud specker and T.V help decreasing the noise pollution in the country[16]

In the case Moulana Mufti Syed vs State of West Bengal and ORS. 1998[17]

There had been certain restrictions imposed inside the State of West Bengal regarding using microphones. The limit turned into that microphones can't be used from nine p.M. To 7 a.M. And handiest public government can use microphones in that time.

The court disposed in their petition and it said that different people can not be compelled to listen to such azaan and the subsequent limit isn't always violating their Article 25 by any manner and the police below the kingdom of West Bengal had been directed to confiscate any microphone used earlier than 7 a.M.



According to the exhibits that the law, concerning noise control is inadequate to decrease the problem of noise pollution. The constitutional provisions and numerous legislative enactments are inadequate for controlling the noise pollution. We discover that the remedies to be had in Law of Torts and Law of Crimes are inadequate to govern the noise pollutants. It is very tough to location restrictions on noise produced by way of railway engines and aero planes. The Environment Protection Act, 1986 is inadequate to slash the problem of noise pollutants. Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 affords positive regulations on noise produced through horns and it also requires a silencer to be geared up with every motor car. But the Act has failed to say the restrict of noise which a automobile may be entitled to produce. Industrial laws haven't any direct provision for abatement of noise besides in terms of nuisance in the Factories Act, 1948. The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 are inadequate. These Rules simplest covers the noise of loudspeakers and amplifiers. The noise from other assets has no longer been covered by way of the Rules. There isn't any strict law for control of noise pollutants at worldwide level. Due to globalization, and technological development the hassle of noise pollution has been increased in all advanced and growing nations[18].





[1] Section 2(6)(b) of the environment (Protection) Act, 1986

[2] Section 2(a) of the ((prevention and control of pollution)act

[3]Encyclopaedia Britannica (Environment Law by DR. P.S.Jaswal)

[4] Encyclopaedia America (Environment Law by DR. P.S.Jaswal)

[5]Environment Law by DR. P.S.Jaswal

[6] Environment Law by DR. P.S.Jaswal



[8]A.I.R 1987 A.P 171

[9] (1991) 1 SCC 598

[10] Environment Law by DR. P.S.Jaswal

[11] Environment Law by Dr. P.S. Jaswal

[12] Bijayananda Patra V. District Magistrate, cuttack

[13]Church of god (Full gospel) In India V. K.K.R Majestic Colony Welfare Assn..,

[14] https://blog.ipleaders.in/prevention-and-control-of-noise-pollution-with-case-laws/

[15] https://blog.ipleaders.in/prevention-and-control-of-noise-pollution-with-case-laws/

[16] Environment Law by P.S.Jeswal


[17] https://blog.ipleaders.in/prevention-and-control-of-noise-pollution-with-case-laws/

[18] https://www.ijrhss.org/pdf/v3-i4/5.pdf


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