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Check ways to use sound limiters: National Green Tribunal to West Bengal government

The hearing was on November 3 but the order was made available on Thursday

Jayanta Basu | Published 11.11.22, 06:29 AM
Microphones installed during an event in the city.

Microphones installed during an event in the city.

Picture by Jayanta Basu

The eastern zonal bench of the National Green Tribunal has asked the West Bengal government to examine how sound limiters can be installed in microphones so that the noise levels cannot go beyond the limit even if one tries to breach it.

The hearing was on November 3, but the order was made available on Thursday.

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The government has been asked to report on the matter within a month.

Acknowledging that such violations have become a national trend, the bench said: “Similar directions would be required for all the states and Union territories in the country.”

It suggested that this matter be taken up for consideration by the principal bench in New Delhi.

“The state respondents shall examine this aspect of the matter and also file an affidavit within one month bringing the current facts on record,” reads the order, referring to its earlier order that had asked the state to see how such installations can be done to curb noise pollution.

The order was passed following a public interest litigation filed by environment activist Subhas Datta seeking such an arrangement.

The West Bengal government has informed the eastern zonal bench that the state would soon form an expert committee to explore the modus operandi of such installation.

The bench referred Datta’s submission in its order which held that “the manufacturers of amplifiers and sound systems should be restrained from marketing their products (public address system) without first installing sound limiters and necessary directions must be issued by the State Government to all such manufacturers and its strict implementation and compliance ensured and monitored.”

Violation of microphone norms and blaring of high-pitch DJ music systems have become a norm in the state, alleged green activists.

“While the violation was going on all along, the government has been sitting on the earlier order, and the committee has not done anything on the issue so far. With a technical expert expected to join and the bench having given a month’s time, we hope finally the work can be done,” added Datta.

He claimed that such installation was highly possible and had been done elsewhere.

“In 1997, late Justice Bhagabati Prosad Banerjee first passed the order of mandatory use of sound limiters in microphones. Subsequently, the state pollution control board had passed a similar order in 2004. And then a number of similar orders were passed by several judicial benches,” said Biswajit Mukherjee, retired chief law officer of the state board.

Last updated on 11.11.22, 06:29 AM
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