The Telegraph
Saturday , August 23 , 2014
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Noise police on toes from next week

Festive nights may stop being nightmares if East Singhbhum’s men in uniform have their way.

From next week, the district police are expected to launch an extensive campaign to tame the decibel demon in industrial, commercial and residential areas, besides silence zones, in and around Jamshedpur, and slap a hefty penalty up to Rs 1 lakh on offenders. If arrested, noise culprits may also face imprisonment for five years flat.

City SP Karthik S. said they would strictly adhere to noise-buster guidelines of the Jharkhand State Pollution Control Board (JSPCB) to maintain tranquillity in public places across the steel city. Noise policing will be enforced 24x7, with special emphasis at night (10pm to 6am).

While the Central Pollution Control Board enforces various noise limits for industrial, commercial, residential and silence zones, which again differs for day and night (see chart), the district police have decided to go by a uniform cap of 65 decibels.

A loudspeaker or any other public address system shall not be used without obtaining written permission from the authorities. The same cannot strictly be used at night except in closed premises for communication like an auditorium, conference room community hall or banquet hall.

“People can dial 100 to inform police about decibel violation. If no one responds at this special helpline, the local thana can be intimated. Both the immediate offender and the supplier of the sound system will be prosecuted under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, and Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000,” the SP told The Telegraph on Friday.

He added that creating noise beyond the permissible decibel limits was a cognisable office and any individual or group could lodge an FIR against the offender. “The accused will be tried in a court of law. If proven guilty, he may have to cough up a fine up to Rs 1 lakh or serve five years in jail.”

Jamshedpur hears a cacophony with motorists caught in snarls indulging in incessant honking and loudspeakers blaring Bollywoods songs in the run-up to Durga Puja and Diwali.

Urban slums top the notoriety list followed by various clubs and committees. Late-night music often triggers clashes among offenders and residents during festivals.

“This is why the drive against noise pollution has become necessary, especially in densely populated neighbourhoods of the city,” said another police officer.

If implemented effectively, residents of Bistupur, Sonari, Kadma, Sakchi, Golmuri, Telco, Sidhgora, Baridih and Mango will be benefited the most during festive occasions.

Amarnath Pandey, a resident of South Park in Bistupur, welcomed the police move. “During Puja, we barely get a good night's sleep because of loudspeakers blaring a medley of songs. I am glad to think this time will be different,” the 58-year-old Tata Steel employee said.

Paramjit Singh of Jugsalai said the worst victims of noise pollution were the elderly, the ailing and students preparing for exams. “It was high time stringent measures were taken against decibel offenders. Finally, the day has come and we are hoping for reprieve.”

Do you agree with the uniform decibel limit imposed by police?