If any noise is being made which causes you annoyance, discomfort or any injury, then you can file a complaint with the authorities given below. You can also complain if you know that the noise1 level has exceeded the noise standards by 10 dB(A) in any area or there is noise pollution that happens at night between 10:00 pm and 6:00 am.
You can complain to the nearest police station, call 100 or file an online complaint with your State’s police complaint portal if you want to prevent noise pollution. The officer in charge of the police station, police commissioner or any officer (not below the rank of Deputy Superintendent of Police)2 can take action by:
- Seizing equipment,
- Stopping the use of a microphone or loudspeaker, etc.
- Going to the Pollution Control Board and getting a written order prohibiting the noise.3
Central and State Pollution Control Board
The Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) provides technical services to the Ministry of Environment and Forests of the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986. The main functions of the CPCB are to promote cleanliness of water in streams, wells, etc. and prevent water pollution. The Board also has the duty to improve the quality of air by preventing air and noise pollution. The Head Office of the CPCB is in New Delhi and they also have several regional offices across states.
Even though the offices of the CPCB are only there in a few states, every state also has an office known as the State Pollution Control Board (SPCB). You can also approach the SPCB offices to file a complaint. These authorities have the power to issue a written order for preventing, prohibiting, controlling or regulating:
- Any vocal or instrumental music
- Sounds caused by playing, beating, clashing, blowing. For example, sounds from an air hammer used for construction.
- Instruments including loudspeakers, public address systems, horn, construction equipment, appliance or apparatus which is capable of producing or reproducing sound
- Sounds caused by bursting of sound-emitting fire crackers
- Sounds caused by a business operation, or trade. For example, the business of manufacture of utensils, etc.
However, the authorities may give an opportunity to the person who made the noise to be heard and then may modify or alter the order.3
You can approach the nearest District Magistrate (Court) with the help of a lawyer to complain about noise pollution.4The Court has the power to temporarily stop or remove the nuisance caused by noise pollution. The Court may pass the following orders after hearing out the person who caused the noise pollution:
- Temporary order or injunction to stop the noise
- Order to remove the noise or regulate it
- Permanent order to remove the noise pollutant and stop the noise
National Green Tribunal
- Provide effective and expeditious remedies for environmental protection,
- Conservation of forests and other natural resources
- Enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment.
The NGT’s orders are binding and it has power to grant relief in the form of compensation to affected persons.
Locations of the Tribunal
The NGT has a presence in five zones – North, Central, East, South and West. The Principal Bench is situated in the North Zone, headquartered in Delhi. The Central zone bench is situated in Bhopal, East zone bench in Kolkata, South zone bench in Chennai and West zone bench in Pune.
Filing a Complaint with the NGT
Any person seeking relief and compensation for environmental damage or pollution involving subjects6 like air pollution, environment pollution, water pollution, etc. can approach the NGT. The decisions of the NGT are binding and you can appeal within 90 days to the Supreme Court if you are unhappy with its decision.
For instance, you can engage a lawyer if you want to approach the Court to file a case or file an appeal from a judgment of a lower Court.0
- Rule 7, Noise Pollution (Control and Regulation) Rules, 2000.
- Rule 2(c), Noise Pollution (Control and Regulation) Rules, 2000.
- Rule 8, Noise Pollution (Control and Regulation) Rules, 2000.
- Section 133, Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973.
- The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010
- Schedule 1, The National Green Tribunal Act, 2010