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Why in News?

Recently released United Nations Environment Programme report titled Annual Frontiers Report 2022 became controversial on account of the mention of a single city, Moradabad of Uttar Pradesh.


  • The report compiles studies about noise levels in several cities around the world and illustrates a subset of 61 cities and the range of dB (decibel) levels that have been measured.
  • Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Asansol and Moradabad are the five Indian cities mentioned in this list.
  • At a maximum value of 114, it was the second-noisiest city in the list.
  • While road traffic, industry and high population density are well-known factors associated with high dB levels, the inclusion of Moradabad appeared strange because similar studies in the past had never suggested it to be an unusually noisy city.
  • The first was Dhaka, Bangladesh at a maximum value of 119 dB.
  • The latest 2018 World Health Organization (WHO) guidelines established a health-protective recommendation for road traffic noise levels of 53 dB.

Causes of Noise Pollution

There are a number of human activities which cause noise pollution. Sounds from traffic such as beeping of vehicles are a common cause. Additionally, heavy machinery being sued at construction sites leads to considerable increase in the levels of noise pollution. The sounds generated from aircraft, trains, generators, mills are other sources of noise pollution. Even workplaces contribute considerably to the increase of noise pollution. The loudspeakers and household sounds such as televisions are sufficient enough to affect the hearing capacity of any living being.

India on Noise Pollution

  • The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) is mandated to track noise levels, set standards as well as ensure, via their State units, that sources of excessive noise are controlled.
  • The agency has a manual monitoring system where sensors are installed in major cities and few cities have the facility to track noise levels in real time.
  • Noise pollution is regulated separately under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.
  • Additionally, noise standards for motor vehicles, air-conditioners, refrigerators, diesel generators and certain types of construction equipment are prescribed under the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986.