With traffic in the city sent to a total sixer in the past few days, there has been a public outcry that no <i>baraat</i> should be permitted on the streets without traffic police clearance. It is not only weddings, but varied other social activities also contribute to the chaos and congestion.
In today’s city life though, with constraints on space and time, holding social functions is not always easy without impinging on the convenience of others. Especially of those in the neighbourhood or proximate vicinity.
And especially in terms of noise and obstruction. Hence the need for regulation — to ensure that the right of one to enjoy does not tread on the right of another not to have his convenience, peace and calm violated.
Some of the basic norms employed by the authorities to regulate the ‘social functions’ activity need to be known by all. That erecting of a shamiana or pandal for a wedding or other social function on a busy road is something not permitted. This could be permitted though in by-lanes of localities with less traffic, with the prior permission of the local police.
In addition, the ‘no objection’ or permission of the land owning authority/agency would have to be obtained wherever deemed necessary.
And as part of this very restriction, no shamiana/tent-house owner can supply or erect any material on a public road, park or bylane without ensuring that the party concerned has prior permission from the local police.
Wedding processions are not to be allowed on busy roads, roundabouts, road-crossings and such other places considered unsuitable from the traffic management point of view. Neither should the route used have occasion to cross the road or roundabouts.
These processions are not in any case to be permitted on important roads. Such processions are normally permissible on pavements, for not more than 250m from the venue of function.
Where no pavement is available, the marriage procession is required to hug the side and occupy not more than 1/4th of the road-width while confining itself to a distance of not more than the said 250m.
Not everyone knows that music systems mounted on vehicles are not permitted. But a band party with normal instruments are accepted as part of the baraat.
Consequently, no public-address-system/loudspeaker supplier shall supply or install any equipment without confirming that the party concerned has the written permission for the same from the local police.
In such a case, the noise/sound level should conform to the provisions of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules — 2000 framed under the Environment (Protection) Act-1986.
No animals other than the traditional mare can be part of the marriage procession.
And the use of crackers or firing in the air with firearms, all are prohibited activities. No generator set for illumination during a marriage procession is permitted. But use of ‘inverters’ for the purpose is permitted.
Finally, parking of vehicles on public roads. Here the onus invariably is on the person giving/leasing out the premises for weddings or other social functions.
Maxwell Pereira is a former Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic, New Delhi.