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07 Aug 2020, 09:09 HRS IST
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  • HC anguished over noise pollution in UP

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21:6 HRS IST

Lucknow, Dec 20 (PTI) Irked over the authorities' failure to curb noise pollution, the Allahabad High Court today asked the Uttar Pradesh 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.

If that was not the case, then what action had been taken against such unauthorised installations and also against those officers, who failed to ensure the mandatory requirement of obtaining a written permission, the Lucknow bench of the court asked.

It directed the principal secretary (home) and chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board to file their personal affidavits, along with the aforesaid information, on February 1, 2018.

A bench of justices Vikram Nath and Abdul Moin issued the directions on a PIL filed by lawyer Moti Lal Yadav, seeking a strict compliance of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, which were framed in 2000.

Reiterating that the right to live in freedom from noise pollution and the right to sleep were two facets of Article 21 of the Constitution (right to life and personal liberty), the bench cautioned the officials, saying if their affidavits were not filed till the next hearing, they would have to appear in person before it.

In the PIL, the petitioner had said that in order to check noise pollution, the Centre had framed the said rules in 2000, but the guidelines formulated through the rules were not strictly implemented in the state.

As per paragraph 5 of the rules, several restrictions were put on the use of loudspeakers and public address systems.

The provision says that a loudspeaker or a public address system shall not be used, except after obtaining a written permission from the authority concerned.

It also says that such devices shall not be used between 10 pm and 6 am, except at closed premises for communication within (auditoria, conference rooms, community halls, banquet halls etc.).

Under the provision, the state government, however, has the right to allow the use of loudspeakers or public address systems between 10 pm and 12 night during any cultural or religious festival, not exceeding 15 days in a calendar year, with such terms and conditions as are necessary to reduce noise pollution.

"The use of loudspeakers has engaged the attention of various courts, right up to the Supreme Court, in the last few decades and despite various orders having been passed in this regard, the issue still continues to engage the attention of the courts of law," the bench said.

The bench further took to task the law-enforcing agencies, noting, "This is primarily arising on account of the inaction and lack of accountability on the part of the officials required for the enforcement of the 2000 rules and despite various orders having been passed by the courts of law, the 2000 rules are being flouted with impunity and the officials continue to put out a deaf ear and the noise pollution continues unabated.

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