HC Hollers At UP For Its Failure To Tame Noise Pollution
Irked over the failure to curb noise pollution, the Allahabad High Court on December 20 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. The Lucknow Bench of the HC court also asked what actions had been taken against unauthorised installations and against those officers who allowed that illegality to take place.
It directed the principal secretary of the state home ministry and the 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 public interest litigation 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 should not be used, except after obtaining a written permission from the authority concerned.
It also says that such devices should 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 during these hours 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.
With inputs from Housing News