In an order with far-reaching implications, the Karnataka State Board of Auqaf has issued a circular to all the mosques and dargahs (mausoleums) in the state not to use loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am, saying the ambient noise level around these structures has “deleterious effects on human health and the psychological well-being of people”.
In the circular dated March 9, the board said, “The loudspeakers shall not be used at night time, which shall mean from 10 pm to 6 am.” Further underlining the “silence zones”, the circular said any violation will be liable for penalty. “The areas comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts are declared as silence zones.
“Whoever uses sound amplifier or burst sound-emitting firecrackers, uses a loudspeaker or public address system in a silence zone is liable for penalty under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act-1986,” the circular read.
These decisions were taken at the boards 327th meeting held on December 19, 2020 regarding a strict adherence to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 in Karnataka and “it unanimously resolved to create awareness amongst the managements of Masjids and Dargahs”.
“It is observed that increasing the ambient noise level around many a Masjid and Dargahs due to generator sets, loudspeakers and public address systems has deleterious effects on human health and the psychological well-being of people,” the order noted.
There are also chances of noise-governing apparatus to get installed in the institutions in consultation with the local environment officers.