21 Dec 2022  |   05:57am IST

Noise pollution must be stopped

Goa generates at least Rs 1,500 crore as foreign exchange for the country through the tourism business. But in the last 25 years, the State has experienced the vices that come along with tourism related activities. People from the coastal belt start raising their voices against noise pollution from the beginning of December. It is time to think about whether noise pollution is necessary for tourism to flourish. 

The then MLA of Santa Cruz, Vishnu Surya Wagh, during his Assembly speech had warned against Goa losing its identity while promoting tourism in the State. Tourists come to experience the identity of a particular region. They must be allowed to enjoy Goa as it is. 

If we keep on changing according to the needs of the tourists, the day will come when one will get to see the real Goa only in some museum. 

Parties are organised during Christmas for the tourists, by New Year almost all are completely submerged in the sea of parties, unaware how the peace in the coastal belt has been ruined.

Sound or noise levels are measured in decibels (dB). Noise pollution is extremely harmful, as other kinds of pollution primarily affect only physical health, but noise pollution also disturbs mental health, thus impacting family and social life.  

The most serious aspect of noise pollution is that longer is its duration, more is the severity. Continuous noise ranging between 40 to 50 dB reduces hearing ability considerably. As per a survey by Delhi-based National Physical Laboratory, continuous sound levels above 85 db can cause permanent deafness. 

Major negative impact of sound pollution is it affects one’s sleep. Noise disturbs sleep. About 45dB noise is enough to wake up a person in sound sleep. If sleep is not proper, it affects a person’s health. It makes a person drowsy, irritable and  affects concentration. If the person is sleep deprived for a longer duration, it can even lead to fatal road 


People object to parties due to noise pollution that is caused. Goan laws are not sufficient enough to curb hoarse noise pollution. Goa has copied and applied laws implemented by Madhya Pradesh. According to the law, high decibel sound from 12 am to 4 am is banned and police have the right to take action against the violators. 

However, the noise pollution law in Mumbai is quite clear and elaborate. It enables police to act freely against the offenders. It should be implemented in Goa until the State has its own law.

Noise pollution is decided in accordance with four zones - namely industrial, commercial, residential and silent zone. However, the classification of zones in Goa is not clear. This is a big issue for the police, who are desperate to act against noise pollution. But, the police take action only if there is a complaint against noise pollution, even as there is criticism that police ignore such complaints. 

Noise pollution is measured using dB meters from the place of the complainant. Such meters are available at the offices of the Mamlatdar and Deputy Collectors. However, they is hardly used. The Goa State Pollution Control Board also has such a mechanism, but it is facing a manpower shortage. 

Also, since they do not have enough security, the Board staff which had gone to measure the noise levels was almost beaten up by bouncers at a music event not long ago. Thus, one can have an idea of how risky the job of measuring noise levels in such areas is.

The coastal belt literally feels the blast of the high noise levels after 10 pm. Columns of speakers (approx. 12-15 sound bars) are erected, which increase the dB value. The sound is felt even from two kilometres away. Everyone in this range feels the heart thumping beats. 

The sound system consists of woofers with bassbin speakers, high frequency mid speakers, tweeters, etc, which are driven by power amplifiers. 

Reducing the number of speakers is not the solution. It is time for the government to concentrate on measures to reduce the noise levels.


Iddhar Udhar