After receiving flak from the Allahabad High Court over noise pollution in Uttar Pradesh, the State government on Sunday issued detailed directives on the use of permanently installed loudspeakers at public places.
The Allahabad High Court in December 2017 had asked the UP government whether the loudspeakers or public address systems installed at mosques, temples, churches, gurdwaras etc. were installed after obtaining a written permission from the authorities concerned.
Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar said, "On the directions of the court regarding ensuring implementation of noise pollution control rules, a government order giving detailed instructions has been issued". This practically implies that sound should not go beyond the periphery of the public or private place, Mr. Kumar said.
The 10-page-order requires survey of loudspeakers permanently installed and issuance of show cause notice to those using it without requisite permission.
A format for applying for permission, issuance of permission and action against those who neither apply for permission nor comply with terms and conditions of permission has also been issued.
It also requires District Magistrates to categorise areas into industrial, commercial, residential and silence zones. Each area has separate maximum limits for permissible sound levels.
The loudspeakers installed in public places can not have sound level more than 10 dB above ambient noise level at the periphery of a public place and 5 dB above ambient noise level at the periphery of a private place, Mr. Kumar said.
The Lucknow Bench of the High Court had December 20, 2017 sought to know as to what action has been taken against such unauthorised installations and also against the officers who failed to ensure mandatory requirement of obtaining written permission in their area. It directed the Principal Secretary (Home) and the chairman of UP Pollution Control Board to file their personal affidavits along with the aforesaid information on February 1.
The division bench of justice Vikram Nath and justice Abdul Moin issued the directions on a PIL moved by lawyer Moti Lal Yadav, seeking strict compliance of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules that had been framed in 2000.
Reiterating that right to live in freedom from noise pollution and right to sleep being a facet of Article 21 of the Constitution, the bench cautioned the officials to appear in person before it, if their personal affidavits were not filed till the next hearing.