Delhi Police will introduce sound meters to check noise pollution levels in the city and fine those violating norms, as part of its wider crackdown, officials told HT on Saturday.
The check will not be limited to private parties, but will also include religious gatherings. Delhi Police attended to complaints before, but was unable to check the noise level due to lack of equipment.
“We have invited tenders to purchase 15 noise-level meters with a measuring range of 35-130 decibels. This will help us gather evidence against those violating the Supreme Court guidelines,” said a senior Delhi Police officer.
Supreme Court guidelines prohibit the use of loudspeakers in the Capital after 10 pm. Besides the police measure, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee is also setting up automatic noise monitoring centres in six areas of the city, including RK Puram, Mandir Marg, Punjabi Bagh, Anand Vihar, Civil Lines and IGI Airport.
Experts say the safe noise level for commercial zones is 65 decibels during the day and 55 decibels at night. For residential zones, it is 55 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night. However, actual levels are several notches higher.
“However, vehicular noise pollution will be checked by the department concerned and we have no role to play in it,” the officer added.
A survey by the centre for science and environment found noise levels going up to 100 decibels in commercial zones and 90 decibels in residential zones during peak traffic hours. Doctors say anything above 85 decibels is harmful for the ear.
According to another study, an average Delhiite is exposed to noise levels as much as 70% higher than what is considered safe.
Experts say this could lead to serious health implications from deafness to heart conditions to sleep disorders. Mumbai is the noisiest Indian city, followed by Delhi, Chennai and Bengaluru.