Archives of Acoustics, 48, 1, pp. 103–126, 2023

Evaluation and Analysis of Long-term Environmental Noise Levels in 7 Major Cities of India

Naveen GARG
CSIR-National Physical Laboratory; Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research

Saurabh KUMAR
CSIR-National Physical Laboratory; Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research

CSIR-National Physical Laboratory; Academy of Scientific and Innovative Research

Central Pollution Control Board

Nalin Kumar GUPTA
Central Pollution Control Board

This paper describes the long-term noise monitoring data for ten consecutive years (2011–2020) acquired from the diversified National Ambient Noise Monitoring Network (NANMN) set up across 7 major cities of India and consisting of 70 stations for continuous noise monitoring throughout the year. The annual average ambient noise levels observed throughout these ten years in 70 locations under study, including 25 locations in commercial zones, 12 in industrial, 16 in residential, and 17 in silence zones, are described. The noise scenario in these ten years is compared and analyzed. It is observed that no site in residential or silence zones meets the ambient noise limits for the past ten years. The study suggests guidelines for a policy framework for environmental noise management and control to regulate noise pollution in Indian cities.
Keywords: National Ambient Noise Monitoring Network (NANMN); day equivalent sound level (Lday); night equivalent sound level (Lnight).
Full Text: PDF
Copyright © The Author(s). This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0).


Agarwal S., Swami B.L. (2011), Road traffic noise, annoyance and community health survey – A case study for an Indian city, Noise and Health, 13(53): 272–276, doi: 10.4103/1463-1741.82959.

Babisch W. (2002), The noise/stress concept, risk assessment and research needs, Noise and Health, 4(16): 1–11.

Babisch W., Beule B., Schust M., Kersten N., Ising H. (2005), Traffic noise and risk of myocardial infarction, Epidemiology, 16(1): 33–40, doi: 10.1097/01.ede.0000147104.84424.24.

Bhosale B.J., Late A., Nalawade P.M., Chavan S.P., Mule M.B. (2010), Studies on assessment of traffic noise level in Aurangabad city, India, Noise and Health, 12(48): 195–198, doi: 10.4103/14631741.64971.

Blanes N., Domingues D., José Ramos M., Sáinz de la Maza M., Fons-Esteve J., Peris E. (2019), ETC/ATNI Report 8/2019: Noise Action Plans. Managing Exposure to Noise in Europe, European Environment Agency, (access: 11.06.2021).

Brink M., Schäffer B., Pieren R., Wunderli J.M. (2018), Conversion between noise exposure indicators Leq24h, LDay, LEvening, LNight, Ldn and Lden: Principles and practical guidance, International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health, 221(1): 54–63, doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2017.10.003.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (2011), National Ambient Noise Monitoring Network. Information Brochure,

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (2012), Annual Report 2011-12, pp. 94–96.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (2015a), Status of Ambient Noise Level in India in 2011–2014, NANMN/02/2015-16.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (2015b), Status of Ambient Noise Level in India in 2015, NANMN/03/2015-16.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (2016), Status of Ambient Noise Level in India in 2016, NANMN/04/2016.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (2017), Delhi’s Ambient Noise Levels Influenced by Traffic Flow – Case studies, CUPS/87/2017-18.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (2018), Status of Ambient Noise Level in India in 2017, NANMN/05/2017.

Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (n.d.),

Chowdhury A.K., Debsarkar A., Chakrabarty S. (2016), Assessment of seasonal variations of average traffic pollution levels in curbside open-air microenvironments in Kolkata, India, Health Scope, 5(2): e33081, doi: 10.17795/ jhealthscope-33081.

Conference of European Directors of Roads (CEDR) (2013), Value for Money in Road Traffic Noise Abatement, CEDR Project Group Road Noise, (access: 11.06.2021).

Datta J.K., Sadhu S., Gupta S., Saha R., Mondal N.K., Mukhopadhyay B. (2006), Assessment of noise level in Burdwan town, West Bengal, Journal of Environmental Biology, 27(3): 609–612.

European Conference of Ministers of Transport (ECMT) (1998), Efficient Transport for Europe. Policies of Internalisation of External Costs.

European Environment Agency (2020), Environmental Noise in Europe – 2020, No. 22/2019, Publications Office.

European Union (2017), Future Brief: Noise Abatement Approaches, Publication Office, doi: 10.2779/016648.

Garg N. (2019), On suitability of day-night average sound level descriptor in Indian scenario, Archives of Acoustics, 44(2): 385–392, doi: 10.24425/aoa.2019.128502.

Garg N. (2022), Environmental Noise Control: The Indian perspective in an International Context, Springer Nature Switzerland, doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-87828-3.

Garg N. et al. (2017a), Study on the establishment of a diversified National Ambient Noise Monitoring Network in seven major cities of India, Current Science, 113(7): 1367–1383, doi: 10.18520/cs/v113/i07/1367-1383.

Garg N., Chauhan B.S., Singh M. (2020), Realization and dissemination of unit Watt in airborne sound: Measurement methodology, sound emission regulations and implications, Sound Emission Regulations and Implications (MAPAN), 35(4): 601–612, doi: 10.1007/s12647-020-00417-x.

Garg N., Chauhan B.S., Singh M. (2021), Normative framework of noise mapping in India: Strategies, Implications and Challenges ahead, Acoustics Australia, 49(1): 23–41, doi: 10.1007/s40857-020-00214-1.

Garg N., Gandhi V., Gupta N.K. (2022), Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on ambient noise levels in seven metropolitan cities of India, Applied Acoustics, 188: 108582, doi: 10.1016/j.apacoust.2021.108582.

Garg N., Maji S. (2016), A retrospective view of noise pollution control policy in India: Status, proposed revisions and control measures, Current Science, 111(1): 29–38, doi: 10.18520/CS/V111/I1/29-38.

Garg N., Mangal S.K., Saini P.K., Dhiman P., Maji S. (2015a), Comparison of ANN and analytical models in traffic noise modeling and predictions, Acoustics Australia, 43(2): 179–189, doi: 10.1007/s40857-015-0018-3.

Garg N., Sharma O., Mohanan V., Maji S. (2012), Passive noise control measures for traffic noise abatement in Delhi, India, Journal of Scientific and Industrial Research, 71(3): 226–234.

Garg N., Sinha A.K., Dahiya M., Gandhi V., Bhardwaj R.M., Akolkar A.B. (2017b), Evaluation and analysis of environmental noise pollution in seven major cities of India, Archives of Acoustics, 42(2): 175–188, doi: 10.1515/aoa-2017-0020.

Garg N., Sinha A.K., Gandhi V., Bhardwaj R.M., Akolkar A.B. (2016), A pilot study on the establishment of national ambient noise monitoring network across the major cities of India, Applied Acoustics, 103(Part A): 20–29, doi: 10.1016/j.apacoust.2015.09.010.

Garg N., Sinha A.K., Gandhi V., Bhardwaj R.M., Akolkar A.B. (2017c), Impact of Diwali celebrations on environmental noise pollution in India, Acoustics Australia, 45(1): 101–117, doi: 10.1007/s40857-017-0081-z.

Garg N., Sinha A.K., Gandhi V., Bhardwaj R.M., Akolkar A.B. (2017d), Effect of odd-even vehicular restrictions on ambient noise levels at ten sites in Delhi city, Indian Journal of Pure and Applied Physics, 55(9): 687–692.

Garg N., Vishesh, Maji S. (2015b), Fuzzy TOPSIS approach in selection of optimal noise barrier for traffic noise abatement, Archives of Acoustics, 40(4): 453–467, doi: 10.1515/aoa-2015-0045.

Hansell A.L. et al. (2013), Aircraft noise and cardiovascular disease near Heathrow airport in London: small area study, BMJ, 347, doi: 10.1136/bmj.f5432.

Jamir L., Nongkynrih B., Gupta S.K. (2014), Community noise pollution in urban India: Need for public health action, Indian Journal of Community Medicine, 39(1): 8–12, doi: 10.4103/0970-0218.126342.

van Kempen E., Casas M., Pershagen G., Foraster M. (2018), WHO environmental noise guidelines for the European region: A systematic review on environmental noise and cardiovascular and metabolic effects: A summary, International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 15(2): 379, doi: 10.3390/ijerph15020379.

Kumar S. et al. (2022), Effect of lockdown amid second wave of COVID-19 on environmental noise scenario of the megacity Delhi, India, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 152(3): 1317–1336, doi: 10.1121/10.0013827.

Kumar S., Chauhan B.S., Garg N. (2023), Significance and implications of noise mapping for noise pollution control, [in:] Recent Advances in Metrology, Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering, Yadav S., Chaudhary K., Gahlot A., Arya Y., Dahiya A., Garg N. [Eds], Vol. 906, pp. 335–341, Springer, Singapore, doi: 10.1007/978-981-19-2468-2_36.

Lokhande S.K., Chopkar P.F., Jain M.C., Hirani A. (2021a), Environmental noise assessment of Bhandara City in the adversity of COVID-19 pandemic: A crowdsourcing approach, Noise Mapping, 8(1): 249–259, doi: 10.1515/noise-2021-0020.

Lokhande S.K., Garg N., Jain M.C., Rayalu S. (2022), Evaluation and analysis of firecrackers noise: Measurement Uncertainty, legal noise regulations and noise induced hearing loss, Applied Acoustics, 186: 108462, doi: 10.1016/j.apacoust.2021.108462.

Lokhande S.K., Gautam R., Dhawale S.A., Jain M.C., Bodhe G.L. (2019), Evaluation of practical framework for industrial noise mapping: A case study, Noise and Health, 21(102): 194–199, doi: 10.4103/nah.NAH_7_17.

Lokhande S.K., Sakhareb D.S., Dange S.S., Jain M.C. (2021b), A short review of road noise barriers focusing on ecological approaches, International Journal of Engineering & Technology Sciences, 2021: IJETS-2106092112346.

Ministry of Environment & Forests (2000), The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

Mizutani F., Suzuki Y., Sakai H. (2011), Estimation of social costs of transport in Japan, Urban Studies, 48(16): 3537–3559, doi: 10.1177/0042098011399597.

Münzel T., Schmidt F.P., Steven S., Herzog J., Daiber A., Sørensen M. (2018), Environmental noise and the cardiovascular system, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 71(6): 688–697, doi: 10.1016/j.jacc.2017.12.015.

Nelson J.P. (1982), Highway noise and property values: A survey of recent evidence, Journal of Transport Economics and Policy, 16(2): 117–138.

Schmidt F. et al. (2015), Nighttime aircraft noise impairs endothelial function and increases blood pressure in patients with or at high risk for coronary artery disease, Clinical Research in Cardiology, 104(1): 23–30, doi: 10.1007/s00392-014-0751-x.

The European Parliament and the Council of the European Union (2002), Directive 2002/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25th June 2002, Relating to the Assessment and Management of Environmental Noise, Official Journal of the European Communities.

Theebe M.A.J. (2004), Planes, trains, and automobiles: The impact of traffic noise on house prices, The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, 28: 209–234, doi: 10.1023/B:REAL.0000011154.92682.4b.

Tiwari S., Kumaraswamidhas L.A., Garg N. (2021), Accuracy of short-term noise monitoring strategy in comparison to long-term noise monitoring strategy, Indian Journal of Pure & Applied Physics (IJPAP), 59(8): 569–576, doi: 10.56042/ijpap.v59i8.48569.

Tiwari S.K., Kumaraswamidhas L.A., Garg N. (2022), Time-series prediction and forecasting of ambient noise levels using deep learning and machine learning techniques, Noise Control Engineering Journal, 70(5): 456–471, doi: 10.3397/1/377039.

Torija A.J., Ruiz D.P., Alba-Fernandez V., Ramos-Ridao Á. (2012), Noticed sound events management as a tool for inclusion in the action plans against noise in medium-sized cities, Landscape and Urban Planning, 104(1): 148–156, doi: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2011.10.008.

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (1984), Environmental Criteria and Standards, 24 CFR Part 51.

World Health Organization (WHO) (2009), Night noise guidelines for Europe, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, Denmark.

World Health Organization (WHO) (2011), Burden of disease from environmental noise: Quantification of healthy life years lost in Europe, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, Denmark.

World Health Organization (WHO) (2018), Environmental noise guidelines for the European region, World Health Organization, Regional Office for Europe, Denmark.

DOI: 10.24425/aoa.2023.144265