Karnataka: Loudspeaker deadline ends, no SOPs in sight

They said that applications have piled up at various police stations and the offices of deputy superintendents of police (DySPs) but in the absence of SOPs they are not being processed. 

Published: 31st May 2022 06:03 AM  |   Last Updated: 31st May 2022 06:03 AM   |  A+A-

Some outfits had submitted memoranda to various police officers on Tuesday requesting them to check the 'misuse' of loudspeakers from mosques.

Image for representational purpose only. (File photo)

Express News Service

BENGALURU: The deadline for applying and getting permission for use of loudspeakers, public address (PA) systems and any sound-producing instruments in Karnataka ended on May 25 with “no sign of standard operating procedures (SOPs) in sight yet to implement the government order,” sources told The New Indian Express on condition of anonymity.

They said that applications have piled up at various police stations and the offices of deputy superintendents of police (DySPs) but in the absence of SOPs they are not being processed. 

“We are waiting for the SOPs. Also, a designated authority needed to sanction permission has not been set up as yet,” the sources added. However, almost all places across Karnataka, most of which are religious places, have “voluntarily stopped” using loudspeakers before 6 am in keeping with the Supreme Court ruling dated July 18, 2005. 

The apex court had banned use of loudspeakers and music systems between 10 pm to 6 am (except in the cases of public emergencies) at public places citing serious effects of noise pollution on the health of people living in such areas. Meanwhile, sources also said that by and large, there is “compliance” of the August, 2002 Government Order on Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, on maintaining decibel levels within permissible limits while using loudspeakers or PA systems between 6 am and 10 pm. “These are being checked by the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB),” sources said.

The state government on May 10 had issued a circular with a set of directions on the use of loudspeakers. Citing the Supreme Court rulings dated July 18, 2005 and October 28, 2005, the circular had stated that loudspeakers and PA systems cannot be used between 10 pm and 6 am except in closed spaces for communication purpose and that all existing users of loudspeakers, public address systems and sound-producing instruments should obtain written permission from the ‘Designated Authority’ within 15 days. 

“Non-compliance with the provisions of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, Government Order dated August 13, 2002 and directions above shall attract penal action in accordance with Section 15, 19 and 24 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986,” the circular had stated.



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