Apropos your Editorial and a few news items on Environmental Pollution published recently, I want to underline the problem of noise pollution in the big cities and towns of our country. It has been causing damage to thousands of people. If it goes on increasing at the present rate, it is estimated that by the turn of the present century only a few people above the age of ten will have normal hearing capacity in many of our most industrialized cities.
Many of us are still not aware how dangerous is noise pollution. It is ubiquitous and all around emanating from continuous traffic, industries; factories, workshops, household activities, construction work, the aeroplanes flying above, rock and pop music and the loudspeakers used for various purposes including marriages, religious preachings and entertainment.
Noise harms us in so many ways. It disturbs our sleep, rest, peace, and causes irritation, annoyance and mental tension. It interrupts the flow of our thoughts and adversely affects both our mental and physical health.
Sometimes, a noise may not arouse us from sleep, but certainly it affects badly our rest at the level of quality and quantity. It may go unnoticed, but it certainly produces profound psychological changes in the human body. Frequent loud noise may cause decreased flow of blood in the small vessels, dilation of pupils, tensing of muscles, digestive upsets, nervousness and anxiety. It lowers the working efficiency, especially in workers requiring concentration and accuracy. The most glaring harmful effect of noise is in the form of gradual loss of hearing.
Noise control laws are there, but they are not of much help because they are not strictly enforced by the authorities. Only increased public awareness can deal with the menace, which is growing more and more dangerous day by day. Noise should be checked, and kept within safe limits. It is the duty of the government and administration to see that noise does not pose a danger to the well being of the citizens. Factories, workshops and repair shops of vehicles, etc located in the residential areas should be removed immediately.
Heavy vehicular traffic should not be allowed in the city during the peak hours. Blowing of horns, etc should also be checked. A new concept suggests that planting of trees can also reduce the noise pollution to some extent. Moreover, uncontrolled and unnecessary noise should be checked by strict enforcement of rules and regulations. The public should also cooperate with the authorities. Without public cooperation nothing appreciable can be achieved. The use of loudspeakers should be totally banned, especially in the areas having schools, hospitals, libraries, etc.