Gobar Times
Open Forum

Law and You

     No noise   


Exams are knocking at the door. You must be studying hard. What if some construction work begins in your neighbourhood now? Imagine studying amidst the loud drilling sound, hammers banging on your eardrums, and rollers running at full speed… concentration will surely be blown into pieces. You can stop this. As a citizen of this country, there are laws and regulations to help you. You need to know them and use them. It is the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

Under this law, every area is categorised into four major sections: Industrial area, commercial area, residential area, and the silence zone (minimum 100 metres of area around hospitals, educational institutions, and courts). Each one has a set ‘ambient air quality standard’ in respect of noise. It is the level of pollutants (here noise) prescribed by law that cannot be exceeded during a specified time in an area. [See Box] If the noise level exceeds this by at least 10 units [dB(A)], you can complain to any officer authorised by the Central Government, or the State Government, such as a District Magistrate or Police Commissioner. He can issue directions to prevent, prohibit, control, or regulate the cause of the noise. But first, a one-toone interaction between you and the “culprit” would be arranged.

  Ambient Air Quality Standards in respect of Noise
  Area Code
Category of area/zone day time
Limits in dB(A) Leq * night time
  (A) Industrial area
  (B) Commercial area
  (C) Residential area
  (D) Silence Zone

1. Day time shall mean from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m.

2. Night time shall mean from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.

3. Mixed categories of areas may be declared as one of the four above mentioned categories by the competent authority.

*dB(A) Leq denotes the time weighted average of the level of sound in decibels on scale A which is relatable to human hearing.

A "decibel" is a unit in which noise is measured.

"A", in dB(A) Leq, denotes the frequency weighting in the measurement of noise and corresponds to frequency response characteristics of the human ear.

Leq: It is an energy mean of the noise level, over a specified period.

Ministry Of Environment And Forests Notification


The Law States

  • The State Government shall take measures for abatement of noise including noise emanating from vehicular movements and ensure that the existing noise levels do not exceed the ambient air quality standards (see Box) specified under these rules.
  • All development authorities, local bodies and other concerned authorities while planning developmental activity or carrying out functions relating to town and country planning shall take into consideration all aspects of noise pollution as a parameter of quality of life to avoid noise menace and to achieve the objective of maintaining the ambient air quality standards in respect of noise. (Ambient air quality standards in respect of noise for different areas/zones)
  • The noise levels in any area/zone shall not exceed the ambient air quality standards in respect of noise as specified in the Schedule (see Box).
  • The authority shall be responsible for the enforcement of noise pollution control measures and the due compliance of the ambient air quality standards in respect of noise. (Responsibility as to enforcement of noise pollution control measures)
  • A person may, if the noise level exceeds the ambient noise standards by 10 dB(A) or more given in the corresponding columns against any area/zone, make a complaint to the authority.
  • The authority shall act on the complaint and take action against the violator in accordance with the provisions of these rules and any other law in force. (Complaints to be made to the authority)

[You don’t need to measure the noise. It has to be beyond the ‘tolerable’ level to have irritated you]


    Clearing mess      


Everyday, garbage is collected from your house by kudawalas. And transferred to a community waste bin where it is segregated. The biodegradable waste is used for composting, and the nonbiodegradable waste is sent to landfills. But every time you pass by a waste bin, don’t you still need to cover your nose? These waste bins are always in a mess (quite literally). They are often damaged with waste pouring out on the ground, and flies, insects and stray animals hovering about. This can be disastrous for everyone. So, how can you stop it?

You can use the Municipal Solid Wastes (Management and Handling) Rules, 2000. Every area falls under a municipal authority, which manages the waste produced by the area. According to the law, it would also be responsible for any kind of negligence in the infrastructure needed for waste disposal (here, the waste bin).

What should you do? You should launch a complaint at the special grievance cells. You may complain to the Municipal authority by filling a Grievance Registration Form available at the offices and on the Internet. You may e-mail or post the form, or fill it up online. You may also launch a complaint at the Grievances Cell of the Ministry of Environment and Forests. Joint Secretary (Cross-cutting Issues-I) acts as the Public Grievance Officer of this Ministry who, along with other officers, would listen to your problems on every Wednesday from
10am to 1pm.

Details: Joint Secretary (Cross Cutting Issues – I) Ministry of Environment & Forests Paryavaran Bhawan, CGO Complex, Lodi Road New Delhi – 110 003

  *Management of Municipal Solid Wastes
  S.no Parameters Compliance criteria  
  3. Storage of municipal solid wastes Municipal authorities shall establish and maintain storage facilities in such a manner, as solid wastes they do not create unhygienic and insanitary conditions around it. Following criteria shall be taken into account while establishing and maintaining storage facilities, namely: ii. Storage facilities to be set up by municipal authorities or any other agency shall be so designed that wastes stored are not exposed to open atmosphere and shall be aesthetically acceptable and user-friendly;
  4. Transportation of municipal solid wastes i. The storage facilities set up by municipal authorities shall be daily attended for clearing of wastes. The bins or containers wherever placed shall be cleaned before they start overflowing;
   Ministry Of Environment And Forests


The Law States

Every municipal authority shall, within the territorial area of the municipality, be responsible for the implementation of the provisions of these rules, and for any infrastructure development for collection, storage, segregation, transportation, processing and disposal of municipal solid wastes. (Responsibility of municipal

  • Any municipal solid waste generated in a city or a town, shall be managed and handled in accordance with the compliance criteria and the procedure laid down in Schedule-II*.
  • The waste processing and disposal facilities to be set up by the municipal authority on their own or through an operator of a facility shall meet the specifications and standards as specified.



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No noise