The Uttar Pradesh government today directed the district authorities to initiate action against the illegal installation of loudspeakers at temples, mosques and other public places after the expiry of the deadline to remove the amplifiers.
Acting on the Allahabad High Court order, the state government had on January 7 issued a 10-page-order directing a survey of permanently installed loudspeakers and issuance of show cause notice to those using them without requisite permission.
The order said if the permission to install loudspeakers at religious or public places was not sought before January 15, the government would start removing these from January 20.
After that, action will be initiated under the noise pollution control laws.
"The deadline to remove the amplifiers expired yesterday," Principal Secretary (Home) Arvind Kumar told PTI.
Asked as to what action would be taken against those who neither apply for permission nor comply with terms and conditions of permission, Kumar said, "Action will be initiated at the district level."
The government has already issued a format for applying for permission.
The high court had last month asked the state government whether the loudspeakers or public address systems at mosques, temples, churches and gurdwaras, among other places, were installed after obtaining a written permission from the authorities concerned.
The court order implied that sound should not go beyond the periphery of the public or private place.
The order said that the district magistrates were required to categorise areas into industrial, commercial, residential and silence zones.
Each area has separate maximum limits for permissible sound levels.
The loudspeakers installed in public places cannot have a sound level more than 10 decibels above the ambient noise level at the periphery of a public place and 5 decibels above the ambient noise level at the periphery of a private place.
The Lucknow bench of the high court had on December 20 sought to know as to what action has been taken against such unauthorised installations and also against the officers who failed to ensure mandatory requirement of obtaining written permission in their area.
It had directed the principal secretary (home) and the chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board to file their personal affidavits along with the information sought on February 1.
The division bench of justices Vikram Nath and Abdul Moin issued the directions on a PIL moved by lawyer Moti Lal Yadav, seeking strict compliance of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules that had been framed in 2000.
Noting that the right to live in freedom from noise pollution and the right to sleep was a facet of Article 21 of the Constitution, the bench cautioned the officials to appear in person before it, if their personal affidavits were not filed till the next hearing.