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HindustanTimes Sat,19 Apr 2014

Noise pollution falls on deaf ears

Amit Jha, Hindustan Times  Bhopal, October 24, 2012
First Published: 13:11 IST(24/10/2012) | Last Updated: 13:14 IST(24/10/2012)

Festivals have now become synonymous with noise pollution. This year too, decibel (dB) levels exceeded the permissible limits. But what is shocking is that administration did not even monitor the pollution level, let alone control it.

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"They don't care about patients and students. We are not averse to celebrating any festivals but there should be some limit," said Anubha Shastri, resident of Malviya Nagar, Bhopal.

Though the decibel levels during the ongoing Navratri and Dussehra celebrations have gone up significantly, the administration and pollution board have done nothing more than playing the blame game.

Speaking to HT, chairman of the MP Pollution Control Board NP Shukla said, "The role of pollution control board is limited. The enforcement job solely lies with the district administration. They have all the rights to give permissions about loudspeakers to various religious pandals."

Replying to a query about decibel levels this year during the Navratri, Shukla said, "I am out of Bhopal. It would be better if you contact one of our senior officers."

When contacted, Abhay Saxena, senior officer, he said, "We monitor decibel levels only if there are complaints or if are instructed by the collector. Since both were not the cases this time so there was no monitoring. We do it only during Diwali."

"These kinds of problem are there during festive seasons. However, we try to regulate it but yes there is a problem in enforcing the guidelines. Last year we had seized DJs and I will see to it that there is no violation in the future," collector Nikunj Shrivastava said.

 
End the cacophony
Not just humans but animals too are adversely effected by noise. If the administration has turned a deaf ear toward the noise pollution, citizens can take a step forward. Activists suggest people to measure the dB levels in their areas and file a complaint with the police. There are several android based applications that one can download and measure the decibel level.

According to the noise pollution rules, the permissible noise level during the day is 50dB in silence zones and 55dB in residential areas. SC says no sound amplifiers must be used between 10:00 pm and 6 am except in public emergencies.

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