The vulnerable frequently pay a high price for the religious’s celebrations. Religious celebrations pose serious health risks due to noise and air pollution if they are not observed in a responsible and lawful manner.
The yearly air pollution plague, which sees levels reach lethal levels and coat the whole National Capital Region in smog, generally coincides with north India’s festival season, which runs from late September to early November. The levels of noise pollution, which frequently peak well over permissible limits late at night, are another important worry that is obscured by this.
The number of offences rises significantly during Navratri and Durga Puja, peaking during Diwali, according to police personnel, despite a wide range of punishments being in place to punish violations of loudspeaker and noise pollution laws.
General sound levels and noises coming from loudspeakers are governed by separate regulations. However, regardless of where they are utilised or how loud the music may be, Delhi Police prohibits the use of any loudspeakers after 10 p.m.
A maximum noise level of 55dB(A) is allowed in residential zones between the hours of 6am and 10pm, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). Between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., this threshold is 45 dB(A).
A weighted decibel, or Db(A), is a unit used to describe how loud something is to the human ear. A group of adults conversing regularly often has noise levels between 60dB(A) and 70dB. (A). A passenger car runs at about 70db, but an air conditioner produces about 65db(A) of noise (A).
The regulations governing loudspeakers state that the noise level at the edge of a public space where a loudspeaker or public address system is being used must not be more than 10dB(A) over the local noise requirements or 75dB(A), whichever is lower. However, due to low enforcement, uncooperative authorities, and a widespread disrespect for regulations, these laws are mostly ineffective.
Trucks carrying speakers, for instance, are frequently observed driving through neighbourhoods.
Last year, the Delhi Pollution Control Committee (DPCC) released new guidelines that set several types of breaches with different penalties. If loud firecrackers are let off in a residential or business area, a fee of $1,000 will be assessed; if the location is a silent zone, the punishment will be increased to $3,000 instead.