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Noise Pollution requires serious remedy

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By S PAUL

I am referring to the letter to the editor GP dated 5 October, 2019, by Ms Neelum Shivrain written in anguish and pain against the inability of the administration to exercise control over the intense noise pollution created by unconcerned citizens. I am giving below some extracts from these acts and rules for Noise pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000. Noise Due to Loud Speakers – Extensive and common use of loud speakers, whether for political meetings, marriages, religious functions, musical nights, advertising, etc., are most disturbing source of noise pollution to the urban dwellers in particular. Though the use of loud speakers is governed by administrative restrictions and some laws but their widespread use remains continuing as the restrictions and the laws are not seriously imposed. If loud horns are used near hospital zones they disturb the patients and also doctors at serious operations. Loud horn noises in school zones create disturbance in teaching work. Statutory Control on Loud Speakers –

(i). The permitted strength of power amplifier should be adjusted to cover the audience and the noise level beyond the boundary limit of the noise source premises should not be increased by more than 5 dB above the ambient noise level.

(ii) Licence from the administration must be obtained by all parties intending to use loud speakers or public system for any other occasion.

(iii). Public address system & loud speakers should not be used at night between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. next day except in closed premises.

(iv). Loud Speakers should be directed at the target audience and not towards the neighbours.

(v). Loud speakers should not be allowed for advertisements and commercial activities. Noise due to bursting of crackers –

1. Manufacture and sale of crackers having an impulsive noise of more than 90 dB at 5 meters distance from the site of bursting should be banned.

2. Manufacture and bursting of joined (ladi) crackers should be banned.

3. Bursting of crackers during night between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. next day should be banned.

4. Bursting of crackers should be permitted only during public festivals and not private celebrations. Despite of such provisions available to the governments by law there seems to be just no control on the pollution by Noise. Perhaps such an act of pollution is being indulged in by the citizens as they are not aware of such anti pollution laws. Should it then not be implemented? I wonder if the citizens of Dehradun have noticed that after a night of intense use of crackers and loud speakers during marriage season and festivals next morning, the usual chirping of birds is missing! The reason is obvious – these hapless creatures, scared by the flash and noise, escape to the nearby forests then slowly over a few days come back to fill our days with their soothing songs. Sometimes, the intensity of such noise is so much as to imitate a battle waging in the valley. In the valley, any loud sound reverberates and severely damages the ecological system. I some time wonder why and how have we allowed this Chinese invention to invade our serene lives and religious celebrations. What a degradation of our noble culture! Perhaps people don’t even know of a pollution called NOISE. It is for our state pollution control board to educate us and implement such discipline strictly banning use of all kinds of crackers and loud speakers as per the acts and rules. Use large bill boards, posters and banners displayed at all busy places in the city instead of huge hoardings put up by Netas greeting each other on birthdays and greeting their vote bank, the citizens. The Administration and the Pollution Control board should also use local TV and FM channels to promote this knowledge To conclude I have included a small poem penned by a troubled intellectual. A Poem by Dr A Celestine Raj Manohar What loud a music people keep these days! And blaring horns preach God’s word every day; And this they seem to do almost always! A menace no one bothers anyway. The youth prefer to hear music aloud; The watts they hear can take the tiles off roof! It stimulates the thunder from the cloud; The pity ’tis a man can’t stay aloof. The road is full of traffic that makes Noise! The sound of horns can make the deaf ears hear! A stress that people live with without choice! ‘Bandh’ is the only silent day of year! And noise can rack a person’s nerves and brain! I wish the electricity fails again and again. The article on page 11 of the issue educates us about increase of stress level causing aggressive attitude by Air Pollution. The noise pollution does the same.