Haridwar: 7 mosques fined for using loudspeakers that exceeded the permissible decibel levels

On Thursday, January 19, the district administration in Uttarakhand’s Haridwar city imposed a fine of Rs 5,000 each on seven mosques which were found violating the permissible sound levels of loudspeakers as ordered by the Uttrakhand High Court in 2018. This action was carried out on orders of Haridwar SDM Puran Singh Rana.

The seven mosques which were penalised are Jama Masjid, Ibadullahahitala (Kikkar Wali) Masjid, Bilal Masjid, another Jama Masjid in the city, Sabri Jama Masjid and two others, Haridwar SDM said.

The SDM Haridwar Puran Singh Rana said that as per the orders of the Uttarakhand High Court (HC), a limit on the sound level has been fixed for the loudspeakers. “We had some complaints from the area. On the basis of these complaints, the Police Administration and the Regional Pollution Control Board were asked to give a report. On the basis of the report, a fine of 5000 was imposed on seven mosques,’’ he said.

Besides, the Haridwar administration has also issued strong warnings to two other mosques. The management of these mosques has been warned that harsher measures would be implemented if they are found violating the Uttarakhand court set limit for loudspeakers.

Another official stated that these mosques have been told not to exceed the permissible decibel levels when playing Azan. Previously, these mosques were granted permission to use loudspeakers on the condition that they follow the guidelines issued by the Uttarakhand High Court.

Complaints about non-compliance with noise levels were received from a variety of sources, including persons who live near these mosques. Inspections were conducted on the aforementioned instances. The checks found irregularities, the official added.

Notably, in 2018, the Uttarakhand High Court directed the state government to ensure that no loudspeaker or public address system is used by any person or organisation, including religious bodies, without the written permission of the relevant authorities. The court also told the government that the use of loudspeakers, even during the day, will be contingent on the user giving an undertaking that the noise level will not exceed five decibels.

Yogi Govt removes 37,000 loudspeakers, lowers the volume of 55,000

Uttarakhand, like Uttar Pradesh, has initiated a drive to remove loudspeakers at religious places causing inconvenience to the public. Last year, on April 29, the Uttar Pradesh Police removed additional 26,000 loudspeakers from religious places across the state and reduced the volume of 55,000 loudspeakers to the permissible levels as per the guidelines. The action by the UP Police was taken based on the CM Yogi Adityanath-led state government’s order in which all religious places were asked to comply with the UP Pollution Control Board on loudspeakers by April 30, 2022.

This had come a day after the Uttar Pradesh Police took down 11,000 loudspeakers and reduced the volume of 35,000 loudspeakers to the permissible levels. As of April 29, the total number of loudspeakers removed is 37,000.

Source: OpIndia

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