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The panel report says that noise pollution has emerged as a formidable challenge in metros as well as Tier-II and small cities.  Photo: AFP
The panel report says that noise pollution has emerged as a formidable challenge in metros as well as Tier-II and small cities. Photo: AFP

House panel seeks stricter actions to curb noise pollution

A House panel has asked environment ministry to formulate short- and long-term action plans to check noise pollution

New Delhi: It is just not enough to notify standards and guidelines to check noise pollution, a House panel has told the environment ministry, asking it to formulate short- and long-term action plans.

“The Noise Pollution (regulation and control) Rules 2000, which aims at maintaining the ambient air quality standards in respect of noise, in the absence of a nodal and strict enforcement and implementing machinery is being blatantly violated all over the country," the Parliamentary standing committee on science and technology, environment and forests stated in its report.

Noise pollution causes deleterious effects on the health and psychological well-being of people. Experts say noise in excess of 90 decibels can cause neurosis and nervous breakdown and eventually loss of hearing and irreversible changes in the nervous system.

Over the last few years, pollution has gone beyond permissible limits on parameters such as air, water, noise, industrial waste, municipal hazardous waste and e-waste, said the report by the panel headed by MP Ashwani Kumar.

“What is worrisome and frightening is the fact that its intensity and enormity continues to multiply with the passage of time, but the responsible institutional machinery does not appear to be serious about doing anything to rein in the monster of pollution," the report stated.

The panel report says that noise pollution has emerged as a formidable challenge in metros as well as Tier-II and small cities. “World Health Organization has fixed 45 decibels as the safe noise level for a city. However, metropolitan cities in India usually register on an average more than 90 decibels," the committee noted.

During the panel’s visits to Mumbai, Visakhapatnam, Ludhiana and Amritsar, civil society and NGOs voiced concerns over the rising levels of noise pollution caused by vehicles, indiscriminate use of public address system, burning of crackers, construction activities and others.

The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is in the process of setting up of 35 new noise monitoring stations. Recently, the National Green Tribunal also took up the issue of noise pollution.

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