The Uttar Pradesh government has directed all districts to check the “illegal” and “unauthorised” use of loudspeakers in their respective regions and submit a report about the action taken by them by April 30 to their respective commissioners.
According to the government directions, police officers have been asked to prepare a list of institutions, including places of worship, where the rules are not being followed and ensure their implementation through dialogue with religious leaders.
The state government has also asked officials to ensure that illegally installed loudspeakers are removed and the authorised ones follow the permissible sound levels. The move comes days after Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath directed officials to ensure that the sound of microphones does not go out of the premises where they are installed and to take affidavits from the organisers of events for ensuring peace and harmony.
Officials said that there was an existing government order issued in 2018 that covers noise limits and districts are being asked to ensure its implementation more “firmly” now. “There is an existing 2018 government order that mentions a set of rules for sound limits and court directions. Districts have been directed to ensure the implementation of the same with firmness now. They have been asked to submit their report by April 30 about the implementation,” said Additional Chief Secretary Awanish Kumar Awasthi.
Sources said that each police station has been asked to prepare a list of institutions within their jurisdiction that are using loudspeakers and check whether they following the norms. In the case of religious institutions, police have been asked to hold dialogue with religious leaders and explain to them the rules and norms that are to be followed. “District officials have been asked to refer to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, to define areas, where the use of loudspeakers can be allowed and also the decibel limits at which they can be used,” said a government official.
The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules lay down the acceptable level of noise in different zones for both daytime and nighttime. It defines four categories or zones – industrial, commercial, residential and silence zones. For industrial areas, the permissible limit is 75 dB (A) Leq during the daytime and 70 dB (A) Leq at night. For commercial areas, the limit is 65 dB (A) Leq during the daytime, while 55 at night. In the case of residential areas, the limits for day and night time are 55 dB (A) Leq and 45 dB (A) Leq, respectively.
For ‘silence zones’, the limit set is at 50 dB (A) Leq during the day and 40 dB (A) Leq at night. The noise pollution rules define silence zones as areas, comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions, courts, religious places or any other area which have been declared as such by the competent authority. As per the guidelines, daytime is regarded as 6 am to 10 pm and, nighttime as 10 pm to 6 am.