Noise Pollution – Law vs Civic Sense

22 Apr

Alex from Bangalore posted a comment on an older post “Pay Per Noise” which was Murali’s satire on Noise Pollution. However his comments were serious and I’d thought I’d post them here to get reactions. It brings out the subtle need for civic sense in everything we do. Heres his comment:

There is this neighbour of mine (in Bangalore) who is bent upon spoiling the peace and quietness of the road we live in. She conducts Music classes early in the morning at her house and the crooning is audible almost 200m away. This disturbs our sleep as well as our mood every morning . And once she is done with her music classes she turns on the TV with very high volume. The situations gets worse on holidays or on a weekend when their home theater system is switched on.

My parents are 60 years old and cannot bear such high decible levels. Repeated requests and fights have yeilded no response / improvements.

This couple (our neighbours) is a young couple with two young school going kids. I wonder how they bear such high decible levels. These are educated people behaving in such ignorant and socially irresponsible manner.

Is anyone aware of what the laws are to curb such a menace and any equipment to help disturb their noise generating equipment and help reduce the noise levels inside our home?!!

Only a public crusade and agitation against such socially irresponsible behaviour will help curb this menace.


28 Responses to “Noise Pollution – Law vs Civic Sense”

  1. greatunknown April 22, 2007 at 8:50 pm #

    I am not aware of the existence of any such laws… though I wish there were! The trouble is that certain people are highly self-centered and indisciplined. They couldn’t care less if their neighbours are ailing or old. This is an abject display of a lack of civic sense in its most basic form.

    Apart from such irritating neighbours, festivals too play a major role in raising noise pollution levels. The cracker carnage we witness every Diwali is one that springs to mind.

    Several of our family friends who’ve lived in the US and UK have told us that a neighbour has every right to call on the authorities concerned if you have a loud-mouthed, boisterous kid at home, or a dog that barks incessantly! Imagine that happening here… I can’t.

  2. Aditya April 22, 2007 at 10:09 pm #

    Viji, Funny, you had the same complaint when my music teacher showed up on Saturday afternoons.

  3. Vijay April 23, 2007 at 2:09 am #

    Anand: You are right…about the US and UK.. there are still instances there.. I remember a CBS 60 minutes program about kids blasting music in cars in public places…
    Aditya: lol.. remember that well… hot topic for another post 😉

  4. Veena April 23, 2007 at 4:18 am #

    Isn’t there any acoustic set up that can help ? Recently visited Chaitanya’s house & his dad teaches music at home. The music hall where the group singing happens is built with some special doors with glass which can absorb the sound generated & the people outside are not affected in any way!

    In Mysore, Our house is located just opposite to a music school & we had some good prgrams in the evening, sometimes we used to sit in our balcony to figure out if that was a good one to attend! I used to just start from home to my class sometime after I see my teacher entering the class 🙂

  5. Vani April 23, 2007 at 5:35 am #

    Oh Vijay, We are travelling on the same boat…..except that here we are suffering because of my naighbor’s dance classes held on an open terrace, with just some sheet acting as a roof……and the situation is worse because an aerobics class is held at the same premises between 5.00 and 7.00 AM every morning….and the dance classes go on well into the night…in the mornings and evenings, it is the disciples practicing, and later at night, it is the teacher practicing….I have grown to hate that “Tap-Tap” sound of the stick on the PeeTha…my mom is suffering from constant headaches……. 😦

  6. vinay April 23, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    Nothing can be done …how can anyone hear a complaint when the whole room is full of high decibel vocalists singing ( or trying) lambo dara lakumi kara 🙂

  7. Vijay April 23, 2007 at 10:16 am #

    My brother Aditya (comment above) had a tactic he used against one of our neighbours… This guy used to play Elton John at 2 O clock in the afternoon.. so Aditya decides to go tit for tat and positioned speakers at the Window facing the neighbour and played metal rock… My mom used to tell me about it (at that time I was outside India)…
    Aditya, did it work?

  8. mouna April 23, 2007 at 12:25 pm #

    of all things, we are are subjected to high decibel levels either ways. most of us do not fancy somebody blowing a horn adjacent to our ears!! what can one do, we have turned to be an insenstive lot.. 😦

  9. greatunknown April 23, 2007 at 2:02 pm #

    Hahaha… mouna, odd that you should mention blaring horns! I just saw a programme on NDTV with Maya Sharma who cooed that Indians love to blare their horns at any given opportunity.

    Boy! We’re a horny lot!

  10. Aditya April 23, 2007 at 10:50 pm #

    Hehe. I’d forgotten about that. If I recall correctly, it worked pretty well. Didn’t have to do it a second time.

  11. greatunknown April 23, 2007 at 11:11 pm #

    Lolzzzzzzzz… you perv!!

  12. padma April 24, 2007 at 2:56 pm #

    We Indians are a noisy lot.Go to the temple and we have ladies talking away while the priest chants the mantras in Sanskrit.Attend a marriage you have the`guests screaming over the sound of the nadaswaram and/or shehnai and the prist’s mantras are drowned and the poor groom mumbles something that he manages to hear over the din created.But then we are also a brave lot.The mayhem on the road during peak hours in a small township like ours is only a fourth of what one gets to see in metros.The person behind you can see that you have no room to move ahead and yet he will honk ten times to tell you that he is in a hurry .As if the rest of us are enjoying a moonlight walk.We only understand authority and our traffic police understands ‘oopar ki kamai’

  13. Kumar Somesh April 25, 2007 at 6:21 am #

    Simple. Go to your local police station and lodge a complaint against the lady saying she sent a rowdy who harrassed you (because you asked the lady to conduct her business quietly). Get a friend who will be your witness. As you come out, the local constable will ask for tea-coffee so they can attend your case properly!. They usually have fixed amount. I guess it is Rs. 500 to 750 for this case.

    Works like a charm!

  14. Vijay April 25, 2007 at 6:27 am #

    Kumar: A practical solution taking the current state of matters into account 😉

  15. Veena April 25, 2007 at 7:22 am #

    Ayyo devare, the story looks like the muscle man issue with ICICI recovery section.
    Beware of Crime story & dairy programs… If they go to these TV Anchors then within no time the story will appear on local channels with some masala added to it 🙂

  16. praneshachar April 25, 2007 at 9:18 am #

    kumar’s practical suggestion may work aganist if the ohteeeeeeeeeeeeer side is more strong or pays more than what you have then who is beneficiary cops only
    beware before taking up this if your music lady neighbour is not having any links you can try out this.
    noise pollution is a menace during diwali my father last his hearing because of loud cracker burst by someone and he has to live with it till the end.
    let good senses prevail and people learn to be more committed to neighbourhood and society in general

  17. George August 2, 2007 at 3:01 am #

    Noise pollution is something we take for granted. When I returned to India two weeks ago, I needed a quite corner in my house to do a conference call – couldnt find one.

    Noise is just one area where we need civic sense. Broadly I believe one can gauge the civilisation of an individual by how s/he keeps his/her living area, a company by how it keeps its toilets and a country by how it keeps its roads. I began in a small way contributing to improving the civic sense in road behaviour in Bangalore by suggesting a series of steps in process, systems and behaviour. I would encourage you to start a campaign with like minded people against noise levels in our cities. Come join me if you are passionate about roads and if you live in Bangalore. Details at

  18. Eswari June 26, 2008 at 11:55 pm #

    Hi,I practice meditation every day morning.I hear these muslisms screaming at 5:15AM to 6 AM everyday morning.It is so much of disturbance,its is so load also,i hear from 5 to 6 mosques at same time.It is so much problematic.Why don’t any goverment take action.”Rule is a Rule even for FOOLS”.
    I cry in front of God for those people to follow the Rule,give them knowleage to be obeydent to eleders.They are praying to God first they have to obey elders first then God.
    God is not in the Sky,so that they use load speakers to reach over his ears.
    Please,I stay in Bangalore, jai bharath nagar.Please ,Someone do something over this.

  19. Vijay June 27, 2008 at 3:56 am #

    @Eswari: I get what you are saying…. countries like Singapore have a ban on any kind of loudspeakers in religious places…

  20. Eswari July 3, 2008 at 11:32 pm #

    Vijay:Even in India it is BANNED to use any load speaker from night 10PM to morning 6AM.These muslisms are using load speakers,the government is not doing any thing regarding this,seems bangalore government is cowards towards this point.
    If muslism don’t obey they have to punish them such that they don’t repeat it.

  21. surendra February 20, 2009 at 12:52 pm #

    Come on, music even if loud may not jar so much as dragging iron furniture does.

    come to my PG in Kaval Bysandra and stay overnight with me and listen to the (medical students!!!) dragging furniture upstairs all night along… Ask them they act innocent or sometimes get angry. How do you solve this inhuman torture? whom to tell? what the law says?
    I wish we could form a Forum and fight this cruel tendency of insensitivity. This is of medical students, then what of others– like those idiot mechanics and youths who remove silencer and zoom at the dead of night honking all the way?
    Come, unite, fight and live a dignified life

  22. surendra February 20, 2009 at 12:55 pm #

    I live in a PG at Kaval bysandra where the medical students living upstairs drag the iron furniture all night along. Dont ask me why? I asked them but they act innocent. Say, it is done by someone else.

    And, what of those young idiots who remove silencers and zoom at the dead of night honking all the way?
    This is pure torture and whom to tell. Let us at least form a Forum for silence and fight this inhuman trend.

    Pearl Surendran

  23. khalida August 25, 2009 at 5:12 pm #

    I will give you a different solution, here is a web site address:, get a free copy of the way to happiness book and give it to your neighbour, it works like magic. I read it and opens your eyes and make you understand about civic sense and moral values.

  24. keerthi November 30, 2009 at 5:26 pm #

    one of my friend living in hennur cross is facing a problem front of her house there is one cafe shop name sake it is a cafe shop but all the other activities are done openely.the person running this shop is highly influential it seems.we can see the police getting the money from the shop openely with out any is in the residential area.everyday he will play music loudly you can feel the vibrations.all the school going students and college goers come there for some nonsense activities.people from my friends apaartment cannot go out freely.the poor thing is every one are having small kids as a parents all are worried about their childrens shop is a healthy cocept if followed decently.but this guy is spoiling the future generation with all sorts non acceptable activity which is not entertained in our indian culture.come let us save all the innocent lives and make our city grow healthy.

  25. Sudhir December 8, 2009 at 3:55 am #

    There are laws defined in India for loud speakers and noise levels:-

    Conditions for grant of loudspeaker licence, as set out by the Bench, are as follows

    (1) Amplifiers can be used only between 9 A.M. To 10.30 P.M. and for
    3 hours at a time. The duration of 3 hours is relaxable under special circumstances. (2) No extension speaker should be put up outside the premises for which the licence is issued. Relaxable in the case of temples, churches and mosque on some occasions. (3) Only Box type speaker should be used. (4) The volume should be such low that it is not heard outside the premises.

    (5) If any misuse is noticed licence will be cancelled. (6) The installation of loudspeakers and mike sets for which the licence is issued should be done only by an electrical contractor having at least a valid “B” Contractor’s licence issued by the Electrical Licensing Board of the State and operated only by a person having a wiremen competency certificate issued by the Electrical licensing Board. Non compliance of the condition is not only punishable under the Madras City Police Act but also under the Indian Electricity Rules, 1 956 for violation of Rule 36 thereof.

    (7) No sound amplifier shall face and no person shall use a sound amplifier, within (prescribe) the limits of hospital, place of worship or an educational institution.

    (8) Any Police Officer on duty above the rank of Head Constable may require any party to stop using or remove any sound amplifier the using of which, may be a nuisance or cause obstruction and it shall be stopped or removed as the case may be immediately.

    (9) Any Police Officer on duty above the rank of Head Constable may seize any sound amplifier or other instrument used in amplifying which has been or appears to have been used in contravention of any of the conditions stipulated.

    (10) Loudspeakers should not be allowed to be installed on towers and temple walls, churches and mosques, so as to face the surrounding streets and areas, should be installed within the precincts and turned inwards so that the music is audible only within the precincts of the temple/church/mosque. Exemption will be given during the month of Ramzan when the calls of the Muazzine for prayers is traditionally made from the mosque tower.” This decision has been approved by the Supreme Court in [AIR 20 00 SC2773 : 2000 (7) SCC 282].

    • Vijay December 8, 2009 at 7:01 am #

      Sudhir…excellent points. The only problem is that these things are not enforced.
      For instance, during the last Ganesha one of the areas, the first person felicitated at a function was the local Sub Inspector..

  26. Shekhar December 30, 2009 at 12:11 pm #

    I stay in Ghaziabad in a decent society ,only a month back new neighbours have come and since than our nights have become deadly……sharp at 11Pm they start disturbing the whole compound by putting TV on high volume and then moving furniture here and there and sharp at 12 in the midnight they starts chatting which keep on till 1.30 or so………..we have requested them several times but they say…it’s our house we are free to do anything we wish……..there is no feelings left for others ……i dont know what to do and how to handle such people …please advise.

    • Avinash March 15, 2013 at 4:26 pm #

      I got a chance to live in USA for 6 months. I realized that actually we should do every possible effort to relocate in USA. Its not because of money. I have personally felt that Americans are very good human beings…they have feelings, they can feel others pain. They are human and our countrymen have become animals & India is a jungle.

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