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'No loudspeakers after 10pm'

The sense of euphoria over hosting the cricket World Cup final match at Wankhede stadium next month may soon fizzle out.

mumbai Updated: Feb 23, 2011 01:11 IST
Ketaki Ghoge

The sense of euphoria over hosting the cricket World Cup final match at Wankhede stadium next month may soon fizzle out.

This time though the state government is acting as a spoilsport. It has issued strict guidelines to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to keep noise levels during the forthcoming World Cup and Indian Premier League-IV matches under check.

The environment department has asked the BCCI to adhere to the Noise Pollution (regulation and control) Rules, 2000, according to which use of loudspeakers after 10pm is barred.

The rules also call for maintaining a decibel level of maximum 75 db during the day and 70 db at night. These rules could adversely affect the use of loudspeakers during the day-night matches, and prize distribution ceremony after the World Cup final match.

In two separate letters to Shashank Manohar, president of the BCCI and Chirayu Amin, chairman of Indian Premier League, state's environment secretary Valsa Nair-Singh had asked for "strict adherence with regard to decibel levels and use of public address system within permissible limits and time during World Cup Cricket tournament and Indian Premier League-IV".

The judgement of the high court's Aurangabad bench, which slammed the state and police for allowing use of loudspeakers beyond permissible limits during the Aurangabad Premier League (APL) matches held last year served as a backdrop for the environment department's recent guideline.

The Aurangabad bench said that action under the environment protection Act, 1986, should have been initiated in that case.

The judgement came in response to a PIL wherein the petitioner said that the matches were nuisance since the tournament coincided with the Class 10 and 12 board exams.

The World Cup tournament this year will also coincide with the board exams.

However, Ratnakar Shetty, chief administration officer of BCCI and tournament manager of World Cup matches, said: "We have received the letter and will follow guidelines. As far as finals are concerned, we don't use loudspeakers anymore at Wankhede, but rely on internal speakers, where sound levels can be adjusted."

Shetty said it would only have a limited impact on the prize distribution ceremony conducted post-matches at 10-10.30pm.

He said he would write to the Maharashtra Cricket Associ-ation asking it to explain lapses during the APL matches.