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Noise Pollution, Courts and Administration

by Rinku Khumukcham
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Few days earlier, there was much criticism to the students’ bodies of the state which had tried to stop entertainment programme including Thabal Chongba during the Class X ad XII examination. Examinations for State Board have been however completed but the class X and XII examination conducted by the CBSE is still going on. Around 64 schools affiliated to the CBSE exist in the state. Knowing how disturbing and distracting it would be for not only the students appearing in the examination but also those aged people or person suffering from certain illness because of the loud sound, the district administration is giving permission to organize either Thabal Chongba or other entertainment programme in residential area or along the National High ways without controlling the sound level.
But this issue of noise pollution in loudspeaker loudspeaker at mosques remains a matter of discussion, whereas in many temples, gurudwaras or churches etc., people’s happiness is being snatched away in the name of bhajan kirtan and religious events in loud voice. In Manipur noise pollution due to Lai Haraoba, or Thabal Chongba or any kind of festival is not an issue. Except for the students’ bodies nobody seems to discuss this issue.
Mental stress and irritability are more common in people who live in more noise. Environmentalist and water star Ramesh Goyal welcomed the Allahabad High Court’s new decision, which said that installing loudspeakers in mosques is not a fundamental right, saying that pollution of air or noise is injurious to health. At the time of any event, in the early morning at religious places or in any social, political and cultural program, noise pollution is spread by playing loudspeakers or by running a DJ, while the sound of more than a certain decibel is due to the weakening of the hearing power of the human being.
Simultaneously, he starts living under stress, due to which many diseases are born. He said that in the case of Church of God Vs KKR Majestic Colony Welfare Association, the Hon’ble Supreme Court, while discussing noise pollution, had given a decision, which is published on AIR 2000, Supreme Court 2773, that the Environment (Protection) Act 1986 and the rules of residential In commercial, industrial and quiet areas, the permissible limit for playing speakers has been given, which is fixed at 55, 65, 75 and 50 decibels during day time and 45, 55, 70 and 40 decibels during night time and 10 am to morning respectively. Playing any noisy instrument till 6 o’clock is strictly prohibited. While discussing the evils of noise pollution, the Hon’ble Court has clarified that no religion says that while praying, you should play loudspeakers, drums or other musical instruments due to which noise is created. Shri Goel said that due to loud speaker and DJ playing loudly, many times there are quarrels which sometimes turn into murder. We should take care that our happiness should not become a curse for others.
He said that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has expressed the opinion that at any time such activities cannot be allowed in the name of religion, which can be done by old and helpless persons, students, children, who are sleeping in the morning, afternoon or night. , or engage in other activities, cause trouble with these activities. The Hon’ble Court has clarified that we should not forget that young children who are in our neighborhood have the right to enjoy their natural sleep in a peaceful environment. A student who is preparing for his examination has full right to engage in his studies without any disturbance and similarly old and helpless have the right to spend their fun moments without any noise. Old, sick, physically unwell or children up to the age of 6 years are considered more sensitive to noise and we should be aware of their rights. He said that apart from loudspeakers, generators and crackers not only cause noise pollution but also spread air pollution. Specialist doctors of eye nose and throat also believe that people living in constant noise pollution become deaf very quickly. Shri Goel said that in 1944, Robert Cook, a renowned scientist who discovered the TB bacterium, predicted that the way humans are fighting cholera, there will be a need to fight the epidemic of noise pollution in the future. Today that prediction is proving true. In fact, even knowing that this will cause trouble and harm to the general public, the organizers put loudspeakers far and wide on the main road.
Government machineries should be serious about the issue of noise pollution as it is the root of conflict between certain groups of the state. If the noise level is controlled – and allowed at only non-residential area , than certainly students as well people will have no complaint in organizing either Thabal Chongba or Lai Haraoba or any other entertainment prorgamme.

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Imphal Times is a daily English newspaper published in Imphal and is registered with Registrar of the Newspapers for India with Regd. No MANENG/2013/51092


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