Keeping decibel under check: 3238 loudspeakers removed during statewide drive
The state police in Uttar Pradesh have launched a month-long drive against loudspeakers in public places, including religious places, checking decibel levels and legality. On the first day, 3,238 illegal loudspeakers were removed and the decibel levels of 7,288 loudspeakers were lowered. The campaign has been ordered following previous court rulings against illegally placed loudspeakers. In Agra alone, 187 loudspeakers were removed and the decibel levels of 79 loudspeakers were reduced.
The state police on Monday launched a month-long drive in all 75 districts of Uttar Pradesh against loudspeakers in public places, including religious places.
During the drive undertaken from 5am to 7am, the decibel levels loudspeakers and whether they were put up legally, was checked.
Violators were served with notice and warned of stern action.
Police teams comprising senior officials have been set up in every district for the month-long campaign.
According to details received from the state police headquarters 61,399 loudspeakers installed at public/religious places were checked across the state on the first day of the drive on Monday.
Officials said 3238 illegal loudspeakers were removed while decibel levels of 7288 loudspeakers, that was higher than the permissible limits were lowered.
The Allahabad high court and its Lucknow bench had on several occasions directed the state government to take action against loudspeakers that were put up illegally.
“The law has now been settled that the use of a loudspeaker at a mosque is not a fundamental right. Even otherwise, a cogent reason has been assigned in the impugned order,” a bench comprising justices Vivek Kumar Birla and Vikas Budhwar of Allahabad high court said on May 4, 2022.
The court had passed the order while dismissing a petition by a resident of Budaun district who had complained that sub divisional magistrate (SDM) of Bisauli tehsil of the district refused their request to use loudspeaker for azaan.
The petitioner had argued that the order passed by the SDM was illegal and violated his fundamental and legal rights to use a loudspeaker at the mosque.
187 loudspeakers removed in Agra
The Agra police, too, removed 187 illegally placed loudspeakers from public and religious places. During the campaign, the police got the decibel levels of 79 loudspeakers reduced.
“In all, 405 loudspeakers at public and religious places in Agra Commissionerate were cross-checked on Sunday and Monday. The campaign continued during the night and ended on Monday morning,” said Dr Preetinder Singh, police commissioner of Agra.
“In the city area of Agra district, 288 loudspeakers were checked. The decibel levels of 57 loudspeakers were lowered while147 loudspeakers were brought down from public and religious sites,” he said.
“In eastern zone of the Commissionerate, 12 loudspeakers were checked, decibel level of three was brought down to permissible limits while nine loudspeakers were removed,” he said. The campaign was more effective in the western zone of Agra Commissionerate and 31 illegally placed loudspeakers were brought down. In all, 105 loudspeakers in rural belt were checked and 37 were found violating permissible limits. The sound level of 19 loudspeakers was adjusted.
“A warning has been issued for strict compliance of norms,” said Dr Preetinder Singh.