[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 July 2005, 14:16 GMT 15:16 UK
Blitz on Indian noise pollution
Street scene in Delhi
The court said people needed to be more aware of noise pollution
India's Supreme Court has banned loud music, firecrackers and the honking of vehicle horns from 2200 to 0600.

The ruling came in response to a public interest lawsuit which called for action against noisemakers.

Health experts argue noise pollution in India is a major cause of heart attacks and other stress related illnesses.

One petition highlighted the case of a rape victim, 13, whose cries for help were drowned out by loudspeakers. She set herself ablaze and died of burns.

Implementation doubts

The Supreme Court has asked the federal government to draw up guidelines for noise reduction and restrict the use of speakers even in the daytime.

All sorts of pollution should be seriously checked
Reena Kohli, student

The two-judge bench said there was a need to create general awareness on the dangers posed by noise pollution.

The court suggested the introduction of chapters on noise pollution in school textbooks and lectures in colleges.

Delhi resident, Sudhir Vyas, 38, said: "I welcome the banning of horns and loudspeakers at night. However, crackers are only burst during celebrations, especially the main festival, Diwali, and people like to burst crackers at night only."

Student Reena Kohli said: "This is a good decision by the court. I am happy the courts of the country are now addressing people's issues rather than going after publicity-earning issues."

The BBC's Nagender Sharma in Delhi says experts believe the court order is likely to have an impact on late night marriage processions and political rallies, though implementation of the order remains a question.

In the past, court orders on banning smoking in public places and against certain strikes have been flouted.

In Mumbai (Bombay) and Calcutta, local court orders on the use of loudspeakers, firecrackers and horns have been implemented fairly successfully.

But in Delhi the results have been more mixed, with people openly flouting such orders with late night marriage processions, birthday parties and religious functions.

Pollution: A life and death issue
13 Dec 04 |  Science/Nature
India outlaws smoking in public
02 May 04 |  South Asia
Axe falls on Mumbai dancing bars
13 Apr 05 |  South Asia
Noise pollution affects Indian police
23 Sep 99 |  South Asia

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East | South Asia
UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature | Technology | Health
Have Your Say | In Pictures | Week at a Glance | Country Profiles | In Depth | Programmes
Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific