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UP bans illegal loudspeakers

High Court had passed strict instructions regarding noise pollution. On 20 December 2017 High Court had asked the government whether approval has been taken from district administration for use of loudspeakers at religious and public places. If permission has not been taken then what has government done to remove such loudspeakers?

Now the state government is showing some seriousness in this regard. Chief Secretary had asked DMs and SSPs for data about unauthorised loudspeakers in their districts. This report is to me made ready by 10 January 2018. Various religious places will be given time to take necessary permission for using loudspeaker. Chief Secretary has passed instructions that all such places be identified where loudspeaker is played regularly. Such places will have to take permission. Those who are not given approval will have to remove loudspeakers by 20 January 2018. This will apply to various processions and marriage ceremonies also. The noise level of loudspeakers at public places should not be more than 10 dB. Following is the permissible limits for noise pollution:-

Noise by Loudspeakers

Permissible Noise Level

Area or Zone Noise Level During Day Noise Level During Night
Industrial Area 75 dB 70 dB
Commercial Area 65 dB 55 dB
Residential Area 55 dB 45 dB
No Noise Area 50 dB 40 dB

What is Decibel

Decibel or dB is used to measure sound level. It is also used widely in communication technology, radio signal and electronics. The dB is a logarithmic way of describing a ratio. The ratio may be power, sound pressure, voltage or intensity or several other things. Sound is usually measured with microphones and they respond (approximately) proportionally to the sound pressure, p. Now the power in a sound wave, all else equal, goes as the square of the pressure. One decibel is close to the Just Noticeable Difference (JND) for sound level. Sound levels are rarely given with decimal places. The reason is that sound levels that differ by less than 1 dB are hard to distinguish.

dB level of loudspeaker

Sensitivity can be defined as the speaker’s ability to convert power into sound. The traditional way of measuring a speaker’s sensitivity is using the standard of 1 watt/1 meter. It means that a microphone is placed 1 meter away from the speaker to measure the sound output (in decibels) with 1 watt of sound played through it. A speakers’ efficiency in transforming (transducer) power into sound is determined by the impedance of the speaker. For example if you are listening to a speaker with a Sensitivity Rating of 87 dB, when played with 4 watts of power, it will produce 93 dB. A low efficiency speaker will produce 115 dB at 1000 Watts. A high efficiency speaker will produce 130 dB at same power. A typical disco produces around 110 dB of sound. 115 dB or beyond is considered threshold of pain.

Sample dB Levels

225 dB Deafening 12″ Cannon @ 12′ in front and below
195 dB Deafening Saturn rocket
180 dB Deafening Aircraft at take-off
160 dB Deafening Ram jet
150 dB Deafening Turbo jet
140 dB Deafening Artillery fire
130 dB Deafening Threshold of pain, decibels at or above 130 cause immediate ear damage. Hydraulic press, pneumatic rock drill
120 dB Deafening Riveter, chipper, thunder, diesel engine room, fireworks display
110 dB Deafening Punch press, close to a train, ball mill
100 dB Very Loud Passing truck, home lawn mower, car horn @ 5 meters, wood saw, boiler factory
90 dB Very Loud Decibels at or above 90 regularly cause ear damage. Noisy factory, truck without muffler
80 dB Loud Noisy office, electric shaver, alarm clock, police whistle
70 dB Loud Average radio, normal street noise
60 dB Moderate Conversational speech
50 dB Moderate Normal office noise, quiet stream
45 dB Moderate To awaken a sleeping person
40 dB Faint Average residence, normal private office
30 dB Faint Recording studio, quiet conversation
20 dB Very Faint Whisper, empty theater, ticking of watch
10 dB Very Faint Threshold of good hearing
0db Threshold of excellent youthful hearing

Article by Col P Chandra (Retd)

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