Thiruvananthapuram District Collector Biju Prabhakar said directives to act against sound pollutors had been issued following complaints from students, critically ill persons, and the elderly.
District Collector Biju Prabhakar has warned of strict action against those who violate sound pollution norms after obtaining licence from the police to use loudspeakers.
In an official release here on Wednesday, Mr. Prabhakar said directives to act against such persons had been issued following complaints from students preparing for examinations, critically ill persons, and the elderly who were suffering owing to uncontrolled noise pollution in their surroundings.
The person who obtained the licence, the person operating the sound system, the organisers of the programme where the system was being used, and if it was on a vehicle, the vehicle driver too would be the persons against whom action would be taken under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, the Kerala Police Act, and the Indian Penal Code Sections 268, 290, and 291.
Mike operators against whom action was taken would not be allowed to operate mikes anywhere else in the district or be issued licences, the Collector said.
Loudspeakers would not be allowed after 10 p.m. and before 6 a.m. in places except closed auditoriums, conference halls, community halls, and eateries. Loudspeakers would not be allowed within a 100-metre radius of hospitals, places of worship, educational institutions, courts, public offices, and wildlife sanctuaries. They should not to be used on moving vehicles and at junctions. No vehicle was supposed to have more than two boxes. Loudspeakers were not to be used in public spaces creating inconvenience to the public and the traffic.
Only box-speakers would be allowed, with each box not to have more than two speakers. Loudspeakers used for public programmes were to be used in such a way that only people attending that programme could hear them. The loudspeakers were to be fixed within 300 metres of the amplifier.
The decibel limits for each area were as follows: Industrial area – 75 decibels during the day and 70dB during night; Commercial area – 65dB during the day and 55dB in the night; Residential area – 55dB during the day and 45dB in the night.
An officer no lesser than the rank of a sub-inspector, if convinced that the decibel limits were being crossed, could order a stop to the use of loudspeakers. If this order was not complied with, the licence could be cancelled, and the loudspeaker and the vehicle could be seized before initiating the rest of the legal proceedings, the statement said.