EC, KSPCB strive for polls sans sound pollution

Last Updated 24 March 2014, 20:02 IST

The Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) and the Election Commission (EC) are keeping a close watch on noise levels in the City and State, in the wake of the ongoing campaigning for the Lok Sabha elections.

KSPCB officials say that they are ready to take strict action against polluters and that the EC is all set to revise guidelines to ensure that people are not put through any inconvenience.  

Due to the summer heat, contestants are canvassing mostly before 10 am and after 5 pm. With elections fast approaching, the campaign is likely to intensify. Parties are resorting to high-decibel campaign and rallies to reach the masses in a short time. This has led to an increase in noise levels. 

The High Court of Karnataka had recently observed that noise levels in Bangalore were increasing due to increasing vehicle numbers and construction activities. Now, the election campaign is adding to this. 

“So far, no complaints have come to us regarding noise pollution. We are ready to follow the instructions of the EC and ensure that noise levels are within permissible limits,” said a KSPCB official.

The official said that it is mandatory for all organisations and parties to ensure noise levels are not crossed. So far, the noise levels have not crossed the limit, but the future is uncertain, he said. 

Anil Kumar Jha, Chief Electoral Officer, told Deccan Herald: “If need be, the guidelines will be modified in future as people should not be put to any inconvenience. So far, we have not issued any guidelines for noise pollution. We have only made it mandatory to seek permission for using microphones, loudspeakers and taking out processions. The prescribed noise pollution norms should be adhered to.”

He said that the EC had opened a single window agency to ensure that rules are followed.

In Bangalore, it is the police commissioner’s office and in other districts, it is the DC office. This agency ensures that people are not put to inconvenience. Noise should be kept below prescribed limits. 

“If we come across violations, strict action will be taken against the polluters.”

(Published 24 March 2014, 18:08 IST)

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