The Hindu deserves to be congratulated on creating awareness on the socially important issue of noise pollution (editorial, Jan. 27). Noise pollution has been increasing over the years, thanks to the uncontrolled and unchecked use of gadgets that magnify the sound waves. While the noise from television sets is controllable, the noise generated through speakers during elections and religious festivals causes immense problems to the aged and patients with acute hypertension. The authorities are not effective in monitoring noise pollution, especially near hospitals and schools. Political activists and organisers of temple festivals need to be educated on the health hazards of high decibel noise. Unless those who violate the law are punished, helpless citizens will have to bear with the din.
The editorial highlights an issue that is often sidelined. As a mother of a four-month-old, I became fully aware of the impact of noise when I travelled on a two-wheeler with my child. Some drivers sound the horn just to advertise their presence on the road. For many, continuous honking is an alternative to alert and cautious driving.
Along with the enforcement of noise control, it is also necessary for the public to learn to use the horn sparingly and efficiently, rather than indiscriminately. Developing cities would do well to run comfortable and convenient public transport vehicles that will encourage people to use mass transport.
Ilavenil K. Joseph,
While everyone is raising a hue and cry over global warming, environment pollution, air pollution and so on, no one seems to be paying attention to the irreparable damage inflicted on human beings, animals and the vegetation by noise pollution. The effect of noise is alarming.
Apart from the stress it causes, excessive and continuous noise can lead to deafness, high blood pressure and lack of concentration. For a safer and healthier population, we need to reduce, if not eliminate, unnecessary noise in our environment.
Noise levels are increasing by the day with the rise in the number of automobiles, construction and other activities making the lives of people extremely difficult. Often, complaints are not addressed and people silently endure the assault on their senses. No doubt, there are laws dealing with noise pollution. But they are difficult to implement for a variety of reasons.
The government should enact laws stipulating the decibel level each device or equipment can produce and this should be followed at the manufacturer’s level.
Sound need not be of high decibel to pollute. Repetitive irritating sounds can also be classified as noise. A typical example is the cacophony of mobile ring-tones and music that have infiltrated all spaces in our lives today. We shout instead of speaking, play loud music when ear-phones could be used, and burst loud fire crackers during Deepavali when lights alone should be enough to celebrate.
Education seems to have made no difference to our attitudes and we continue to perpetrate and abet noise pollution.
Varsha S. Shenoy,
One sure and practical way of reducing noise pollution is the creation of anti-noise pollution squads. They should be given the power to stop vehicles emitting too much noise and penalise them on the spot.
Licences should be renewed only after the noise levels of vehicles are tested. The squad should also be empowered to mute screaming loudspeakers on roadside places of worship. Religion cannot, and should not, come in the way of checking noise pollution.