Pollution is one among the many dire problems that the country is facing!
In the Constitution, Pollution is broadly categorised as :
1. Water Pollution
2. Air Pollution
3. Noise Pollution
Among these, water and air pollution can be observed physically but such is not the case with noise pollution. It is a silent distress because how can anyone measure pollution created by noise? Who has to be informed? How to provide enough proof for that? (As sound does not sustain for a long time.)
Therefore the government had to pass a law regarding noise pollution in 1986. Of course, it is debatable whether the Government has put in serious efforts in this direction.
Due to this the State Government which is known for self-destructive policies has also followed the same principle against Pollution. A clear example for this is that many Municipal Corporations are disposing waste water into the river as they do not have proper infrastructure to process waste water. Many industrial plants contribute more towards pollution. In such situations the Environmental Department and Maharashtra Pollution Control Board ignores this matter; but the so-called pollution that is created during Ganeshotsav is ridiculously considered as great danger !
A similar problem that comes to mind is Noise Pollution ! Noise Pollution affects physical and mental health, daily routine works, as well as students, aged, pregnant ladies feel distressed. Everybody is aware about this, still how the pollution occurred due to religious reasons is ignored ?
But if one goes by the Government’s idea of noise pollution, it is limited to the fireworks or Ganeshotsav celebrations !
1. In the year 2011 during Ganeshotsav, 51 cases were filed by the Pune Police against various Ganeshotsav Committees, and in the year 2012, 22 cases were filed. Out of that many cases were about the use of loudspeakers without permission. Some cases were about playing traditional musical instruments late into the night. The very famous ‘Dagdusheth Halwai Ganpati Mandal’ was also not spared !
2. This is not only limited to Pune, but the same scenario is observed in Mumbai, Thane, Nasik etc. The police are very active against the ‘pollution’ created during Ganeshotsav.
3. In the year 2013, a contract was given to a private company in Nasik to measure the intensity of sound in order to prevent noise pollution during Ganeshotsav. It means that it is expected that police should act whenever a common man faces any problem, but action should be in accordance with the understanding of common people. But our government does not do so. For example, in the Ganeshotsav, idols are immersed in front of Aurangabad high court. With the intention to stop it completely, a ‘public interest’ petition was filed. In that the petition, it was claimed that ‘after the immersion of Ganesh idol Potassium Cyanide gets mixed with water which harms the aquatic life forms’, and the ‘Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’ enthusiastically endorsed this halfwitted petition.
(Potassium Cyanide is very potent poison)
The biased stance of the Government towards the Noise Pollution created by the Mosques and Madrasas!
1. The Government is neglecting Noise Pollution by following biased policies. For example loudspeakers are installed without any botheration on the religious buildings of the minorities such as the Mosques, Dargah, Madrasa’s etc.
2. ‘Azan’ for Namaz is given 5 times by the local religious leader of the Muslim society. This Azan(call for prayer) said to be the most important. ‘Namaz’ is one of the five main pillars of Islam and ‘Azan’ means a call for ‘Namaz’.
3. This call for prayer, while standing on a minaret, is given by the person called ‘Muezzin’ who reads Namaz in the Masjid. The azan has to be given 5 times a day and their names and timing are as given ahead.
|Zuhr (धुहर )||
afternoon till Asr
after sunset till dusk
after sunset till dusk
after Magreeb but before midnight
But this call for prayer is proving to be distressing to the common man in this present era. Because in this modern scientific era, it is not being hailed by an individual, it is a recorded audio that is played through loudspeaker.
5. As the religious emotions of the Muslims are entangled with it, nobody tries to stop it. But when actions are carried out against the ‘sound pollution’ during Ganeshotsav then why not on this? Nobody has the answer to this question. The ‘Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’ has prepared the rules only for fire crackers.
6. Once an elderly person asked me a question, “Many detailed reports have been published about how much, where and how fireworks cause pollution in Mumbai, but why the government gets scared when we talk about the loudspeakers on the mosques ?” I had no answer to his question.
7. The Supreme Court has already given its verdict 15 years back on the subject of religion and sound pollution. A church of God (full Gospel) had approached Supreme Court when the ban was imposed on loud sound during their one of the programs. The court had clarified in its verdict that if others are getting disturbed due to religious reasons, then religious rights do not hold ground there and it should not cause any trouble to others.
8. When the act came in between giving the call from a masjid, a petition was filed by the Maulana Mufti Sayyad Mohammad Nurur Rahman Barakati, a Shahi Imam of mosque in Dharamtala, in Kolkotta bench of Supreme Court to stop possible arrest of the person giving the call and the liberal use of a sound amplifier and loud speakers. The case went on for a long time. His argument was that it is their fundamental right to give a call for namaz using loud speakers. But court firmly told that to offer namaz and to give a call for it may be fundamental right, but you cannot use loud speakers and cause trouble to others and had rejected the petition.
9. Loudspeakers are a more modern invention. It is not necessary to use it to follow the religion. To force someone to listen to a call on loudspeakers, is also a breach of the fundamental rights of those who wants peace. These were the sentiments expressed by the Honorable Supreme Court, while warning Maulana Barakati and his men, as well as issuing orders to the West Bengal pollution board and police to keep a strict watch whether the rules are followed or not and if any mosque is breaking the rule then to confiscate the sound systems from the mosque.
10. Maharashtra too offers legal recourse to those distressed due to noise pollution by loudspeakers. The Aurangabad seat of Mumbai High Court had warned Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and Police, while filing a petition against the sound pollution happening during the cricket match in Sambhajinagar (Aurangabad) and had set up an inquiry against the police officers who gave a permission to cricket match. This means the law sides by the sufferers of sound pollution, but there is need to fearlessly use the law while being vigilant.
Name of Zone
Maximum level of sound (during daytime in decibels)
Maximum level of sound (during night time in decibels)
|Quiet Zone (Courts, Schools, Hospitals, Religious places and area within a radius of 100meters around it– Within this area fireworks and use of loud speakers are banned)||50||40|
Let us briefly look at the pertinent laws from Maharashtra
On 29th April 2009, the government passed a ruling and in that detail description about which government department should handle what responsibility is given. Please read this very carefully because points mentioned in that are also of equal importance.
A. Night time is considered as a time between 10:00 PM to 6:00 AM
B. If there is a doubt about the categorisation of zone, then that area can be categorised into any one zone and the rules of that zone will be applicable there. (For that citizens have to be alert and correspond and file complaints with local authorities )
C. It is necessary for government to declare an area upto 100 meters around the religious places as a quiet zone. Hoardings related to that should be displayed by the local independent body and should follow all the rules related to that.
3. The District collector and Tehsildar are responsible to declare the above mentioned zones. If there is noise pollution in these zones then the police department is responsible to act upon it. A special part of this government ruling is an act about fire crackers.
4. As per the the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) rules 2000- act 5, it is mandatory to seek permission when a sound system or public address system has to be used. Even so use of any sound system is completely banned during night time. It can be used only if it is for an indoor area of building and is limited to that enclosed area only (for example, auditorium, room or party hall), the use outside of that area is strictly not permissible. There is only one exception, the state government has given a special concession for 15 days, and during those 15 days it can be used at night also; but it is must to obtain a permission from the state government. Not from any lower level authorities.
5. The Environment (Protection) Act 1986 has been attached herewith. As per act 15, there is a provision to impose a fine upto rupees 1 lakh on those who break the law. Also a complaint can be lodged as per Indian Penal Code article 268 and article 290 and 291.
6. There can be confusion about who should implement the law and where common man can lodge a complaint. This is clarified in detail in the government ruling of April 2009. The citizen can lodge a complaint as per this.
The law sides by the people who are suffering from sound pollution. What is required is alertness on the part of the public and using the law without any fear. Let us understand the rules and let us preserve our fundamental right of being in peace.
– Advocate Sanjeev Punalekar, National Secretary, Hindu Vidhidnya Parishad
Application to be submitted in Police Station
1. Senior Police Inspector
________ Police Station
2. Tehsildar / District Collector
3. Maharashtra pollution Control Board (Local office)
We all, the undersigned, are the residents of _______area. We are very much suffering from noise pollution caused due to the loud speakers installed on the mosque in this area.
Since many years, the untimely loud noise from these loud speakers on the mosque is troubling the children, students and old peoples. Due to very harsh and loud sound from the loudspeakers all the residents of this area are facing physical as well as mental distress.
Even though we are suffering from the noise pollution, with a thought that this is for the religious purpose and since we are secular, we ignored the noise pollution and avoided to take any legal action till now. But last year, many Ganesh and Durga pooja mandals were forced to stop sound systems under the law that noise pollution is a crime. We were taken aback and felt that this must be a new law and it will also stop the noise pollution occurring due to loudspeakers on the mosque. Some of us tried to inquire further about this and found out that these laws are very old. It is shocking that in spite of regulation, why there was no action to stop the noise pollution due to the loud-speakers on the mosques.
Supreme Court has given a verdict about stopping the noise pollution happening from the religious places. You must be aware about this, but if not then we are attaching a copy of that verdict along with this complaint/letter. It is mandatory to register the complaint immediately as per the recent ruling given by Supreme Court. In such scenario we expect you to follow the orders from the Supreme Court and government rules immediately.
We are requesting you to stop noise pollution occurring due to loud speakers on the mentioned mosque/ Dargah, confiscate the sound systems and book those who are causing this noise pollution, so that proper punishment will be given to them.
1. Home Ministry, Maharashtra State, Secretariat, Mumbai 400032
2. Local Member of Parliament / Member of Legislative Assembly
3. Local Ganesh mandals.
4. An application within the purview of Right to Information act 2005 – article 3
State public information officer / Senior Police Supervisor
1. Name of the applicant
2. Address of an applicant
3. Details about the information required.
We need an information about the Mosque / Dargah / Islamic praying places within the limits of your Police Station. The information is required for last 15 years.
1. Information is needed about how many Mosques / Dargahs / Islamic places for prayers that are there within the limits of your Police station.
2. A copy of request letter submitted by the said mosque / dargah / Islamic places for prayers for the permission to use loud speakers / sound amplifiers / sound systems.
3. Copy of order issued by you against the submitted application.
4. If the loud speakers / amplifiers / sound systems are used without a permission, then the information in the register about the action taken.
5. Copy of all the complaints about the trouble created due noise pollution by mosque / dargah / Islamic places for prayers.
6. Information in the register about the action taken on such complaints.
7. The information is required person to person.
8. The applicant is not below the line of poverty.
Date: Signature of the applicant
(Along with this article or as a next part we can publish the pdf files given ahead. ( 1noisegGR.pdf – page 3-5) (Chapane.pdf- complete) (15 divas gr.pdf)
Or we can compile all this information as a Mini Holy text