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K'taka HC directs govt to act against sound pollution

Bengaluru, Nov 16 (IANS) The Karnataka High Court on Tuesday directed the government to initiate action against vehicles and nightclubs causing sound pollution.

The division bench headed by Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi passed this order while hearing the petition filed by one Girish Bharadhwaj regarding sound pollution caused by mosques of Thanisandra locality in Bengaluru. He had pleaded for effective implementation of law on sound pollution.

Counsel for the petitioner Sridhar Prabhu submitted that no legal action is initiated for avoiding sound pollution by Pollution Control Board (PCB) and other government authorities. However, Wakf board, though not being a legal entity, has issued a circular to use low decibel loud speakers.

"This is not a correct measure. According to Sound Pollution Control Guidelines 2000, no speakers are allowed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. Likewise, use of mic is allowed only for 15 days during public festivals annually. But, no guidelines are followed," he argued.

The bench observed that sound pollution is caused by vehicles and honking. What action has been taken by the government? The sound pollution has crossed limits and it is very much evident if one goes near arterial roads.

The bench opined that if the prevailing situation is taken into consideration, the government seems to have not initiated any action in this direction. Mosques are informing the court that they are using mics as per the directions of the Wakf board. However, the board doesn't have any powers to give permission, it must make it clear under what legal provision the Wakf board is issuing circulars, the bench said.

Sound pollution is caused by altered vehicles and night clubs are no exception. Concerned authorities must act in this direction. They should initiate action against night clubs, vehicles and submit a report to the court, the bench underlined.