Brig (Retd) K.G. Behl
President, Sanyukta Nagrik Sangthan and All India Consume Council, Uttarakhand
Pollution, in whatever form, is harmful to the human health. It needs to be checked and nipped in the bud before it takes a monstrous shape and becomes fatal at times. So far we had been taking up adulteration of food and eatables but Sound or noise pollution is one such factor, which of late, has been allowed to grow and spread unchecked and has been found responsible for causing nervous tensions in many cases and affecting the very equilibrium of the persons making them lead an abnormal life especially in the case of sick and elderly persons. Loud sound when listened continuously for long hours affects ears and other nerves and generally causes headache, a feeling of depression and pain in and around ears which becomes intolerable at times. This needs to be checked and restricted to the minimum for good living.
Sound is basically related to the ears and through the ears to other nerves connecting to the brain cells. As we all know in a human body, it is the brain which controls and commands all actions of the body on receiving signals of different activities through the nerve system spread all over the body in different parts, through it’s various organs meant for carrying out different actions. The effect of sound first attracts ears and depending upon the intensity of the sound and health of ears of a particular person shows it’s effect. If the sound is very strong it not only affects the ears but causes shivers in the body which at times are very harmful to the health of the individual. Loud and strong bangs like bomb blasts, very close lightening and even very strong crackers cause damage to the ear drums or nerves of the ears which get swollen and even burst with bleeding with lots of pain. The continuous exposure of ears to such loud bangs causes acute headache and at times depression. In elderly persons, it disturbs sleep and makes them uncomfortable affecting the complete system especially at night since it becomes sleepless night which leads to number of diseases.
Off late, it has become a fashion to celebrate festivals by putting loud speakers all around the places of worship or even in markets blaring for days together as a part of the festivities. One can understand if some prayers or discourse is held and broadcast for some time but continuously putting tapes is which not only irritates not only the others but even the followers of those teachings. Such broadcasts need a check and should not be allowed or at least be restricted to some limited time. It appears that a sort of competition is going on amongst various sects to show off their strength which is growing more and more day by day and even those religions or sects who were not indulging in such activities earlier have started joining the fray. Loud speakers which are allowed for a particular purpose only, are being misused to make other announcements which have no relation with the purpose, thereby disturbing the sleep of the people. It can at least be ensured that the loud speakers are used only during specific timings and for limited purpose and do not blare all the time and disturb peace.
Noise Pollution is one such pollution which can be reduced without much of effort but with strict enforcement of timings and limiting the areas for use of loud speakers by marking certain areas as silence zones where even vehicle horns are not allowed to be blown. Even processions have to pass through those areas without shouting what to say of beating of drums etc. DJs which are the latest addition to this pollution and which play music at a very high pitch need to be restricted to their premises alone ensuring that the sound do not reach the adjoining areas and sound is restricted to limits.
Another factors which are adding to the noise pollution are the blaring loud speakers being used by the marriage bands. In no case those be allowed to be played beyond 10 pm. Similarly, fireworks should not be allowed beyond 10 pm. Lately it is being noticed that the marriage processions start late and there by create lot of noise later though in their cards timings are shown much earlier. Under one or the other excuse they delay the processions and create lot of noise pollution at night causing disturbance to all others. Barats (Marriage Processions) should go without bands if they cannot reach the destination before 10 pm and no band or playing of drums and firing of crackers should be allowed after 10 pm.
As we all know Government of India has passed ‘Noise Pollution( Regulation and Control Rules) 2000 to control this pollution but it has not been given the publicity as it should have been and is not as strictly followed as required. It would be appreciated if the DM and SSP enlighten the public about the baneful affects of this through News Papers and other media and the penalties the defaulters are likely to face. The rules should be strictly enforced through police and strict action taken so that others may desist from flouting those orders. Permission should not be granted for use of loud speakers beyond 10 pm and permission should be restricted in the hands of very high officials only and be granted on rare occasions and that too limited to premises only.
Use of pressure horns be banned and RTO should be empowered by the Commissioner to challan vehicles with those horns especially using at night. There is a craze these days with the motor cycles to have pressure horns which are causing more accidents as people get scared and unnecessarily move away causing accidents. This needs to be stopped.
The Earth Saviours Foundation in coordination with Neo Vision Foundation with the support of many other likeminded organization of the town started ‘ Do Not Honk’ campaign on Saturday at Darshan Lal Chowk from 11 to 1300 hrs. by pasting ‘Do Not Honk’ stickers on the back bumper of each passing vehicle from that area. It is a good gesture but should be realized by those youngsters who drive pass in speed honking every now and then which scares everyone, especially the elders and children who take time to get away and consequently get hurt. This is specially so with when they use split horns.