Noise Pollution Norms


Noise is defined as unwanted sound.Sound which pleases the listeners is musicand that which causes pain and annoyance is noise.At times what is music for some can be noise for others.

Most of the machines that have been developed for industrial purposes,for high speed transportation,or to make life more enjoyable,by furnishing additional comfort,reducing the drudgery of everyday living,and speeding up our daily routines to provide additional leisure hours,are accompanied by noise. Noise prevention and control is important as noise affects us in hearing,abilityto communicate and behaviour.Undoubtedly,lesser noise can make the environment more friendly and life becomes pleasant.


Various sources of noise are : industry,road traffic,rail traffic,air traffic,construction and public works,indoor sources(air conditioners,air coolers,radio,television and other home appliances)etc.In Indian conditions, indiscriminate use of public address system and DG sets,has given a new dimension to the noise pollution problem.


    Category of Vehicle                                   Noise limit in dB(A)
(a)Motorcycle,scooters and three                                  80
(b)Passenger Cars                                                 82
(c)Passenger or commercial vehicles                               85
upto 4 MT
(d)Passenger or commercial vehicles                               89
above 4 MT and upto 12 MT
(e)Passenger or commercial vehicles                               91
exceeding 12 MT

Category of Domestic Appliances/                        Noise limits in dB(A)
Construction Equipments
(a)Window air conditioners of 1 tonne                            68
to 1.5 tonne    
(b)Air Coolers                                                   60
(c)Refrigerators                                                 46
(d)Diesel Generator for domestic purposes                      85 - 90
(e)Compactors(rollers),Front loaders,                            75
Concrete mixers,Cranes(movable),
Vibrators and Saws

The Noise Pollution Control Committee also prescribed code of practice for controlling noise from sources other than industries and automobiles,as given below:

Code of practice for Controlling Noise from Sources other than Industries and Automobiles

Public Address System

Aircraft Operations

Railway Operations

Construction Activities

Burning of Crackers

The permissible levels for noise exposure for work zone area have been prescribed under the Model Rules of the Factories Act,1948,as given in the Tables below.

Peak sound pressure                               Permitted number of 
level in dB                                       impulses or impact/day
        140                                               100
        135                                               315
        130                                              1000
        125                                              3160
        120                                             10000

1.No exposure in excess of 140 dB peak sound pressure level is permitted.
2.For any peak sound pressure level falling in between any figure and the
next higher or lower figure as indicated in column 1,the permitted number of
impulses or impacts per day is to be determined by extrapolation on a 
proportionate basis.

    Total time of exposure                           Sound pressure level 
    (continuous or a number                                in dB(A)
    of short term exposures)
    per day,in hr
             8                                                90
             6                                                92
             4                                                95
             3                                                97
             2                                               100
             1-1/2                                           102
             1                                               105
             1/2                                             107
             1/4                                             110
             1/8                                             115

1.No exposure in excess of 115 dB(A) is to be permitted.
2.For any period of exposure falling in between any figure and the next 
higher or lower figure as indicated in column 1,the perrmissible sound presssurelevel is to be determined by extrapolation on a proportionate basis.

For further information, please contact :

Joint Secretary (CP)
Government of India
Ministry of Environment & Forests
Paryawaran Bhawan, CGO Complex
Lodi Road, NEW DELHI - 110 003 INDIA