October 2, 2022

What is Silent Zone?

An area comprising not less than 100 meters around hospitals, educational institutions and courts may be declared by the State Government as silence area/zone.

You may have seen “no horn” sign near hospitals, schools, and you also might have been acquainted with the fact that you are not allowed to honk your vehicle horn near those places due to patients in hospitals and study of students in Educational Institutions. But, what are those laws which prohibit this honking?

Get this short article completely to learn the laws on it.

Laws on Silent Zone

In exercise of the powers conferred by Section 3[2(ii)], Section 6(1), Section 6[2(b)] and section 25 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 read with Rule 5 of the Environment (Protection) Rules, 1986, the Central Government enacted The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 for the regulation and control of noise-producing and generating sources.

In these Rules, sub rule (5) of Rule 3 defines Silence zone as “An area comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts may be declared by the State Government as silence area/zone for the purpose of these rules”.

Rule 5A, inserted in 2010, restrict the use of horns, sound emitting construction equipments and bursting of fire crackers. It provides that,

  • No horn shall be used in silence zones or during night time in residential areas except during a public emergency.
  • Sound emitting fire crackers shall not be burst in silence zone or during night time.
  • Sound emitting construction equipments shall not be used or operated during night time in residential areas and silence zones.

Here, Night time means means the period between 10.00 p.m. and 6.00 a.m.

As per Rule 6, Whoever, in any place covered under the silence zone/area commits any of the following offence, he shall be liable for penalty under the provisions of the Act (environment protection act 1986):

  • whoever, plays any music or uses any sound amplifiers,
  • whoever, beats a drum or tom-tom or blows a horn either musical or pressure, or trumpet or beats or sounds any instrument, or
  • whoever, exhibits any mimetic, musical or other performances of a nature to attract crowds.
  • whoever, bursts sound emitting fire crackers; or
  • whoever, uses a loud speaker or a public address system.

Schedule of these rules specify the standards of Ambient Air Quality in respect of Noise Area/Zone. In this schedule, the standard of silence zone is 50 dB(A) Leq. in day and 40 dB (A) Leq. in nights.

Day time shall mean from 6.00 a.m. to 10.00 p.m. and Night time shall mean from 10.00 p.m. to 6.00 a.m.

“A”, in dB(A) Leq, denotes the frequency weighting in the measurement of noise and corresponds to frequency response characteristics of the human ear.

Leq : It is an energy mean of the noise level, over a specified period.

Now, you have learned these laws, So, Respect these laws yourself and also encourage other people to follow these rules.