As one enters Usman Road in T. Nagar, the noise of blaring loud speakers rises above the din of shoppers and vehicles. A voice keeps making announcements cautioning shoppers about safety and asking vehicles including autorickshaws to move and not linger in one spot
With only a few days left before Deepavali and T. Nagar bursting at its seams, the announcements may be useful to many. However, there is just one glitch – the police are using cone-shaped loud speakers that have been banned by the Madras High Court, a decision upheld by the Supreme Court in 2000.
“The police are the law-makers but they seem to have scant regard for the law. When temples use such loud speakers, we file complaints with the police. But when they themselves break the law whom do we complain to?” asked G. Raj, a resident of West Mambalam.
The speakers have been mounted on lampposts at three spots – near Pothys, near Lalitha Jewellery and opposite Ranganathan Street. Though the announcements are useful, several in the area complained that their noise levels were quite high.
“A friend and I were sitting near the Ranganathan Street speakers and our voices were practically drowned when the announcements began,” said K. Bala, of T. Nagar.
According to environment expert V.N. Rayudu, such cone-shaped speakers create noises beyond our listening capacity. “The cone-shaped device resonates back and forth and emanates a louder noise. In a box-shaped speaker, the sound is localised. High levels of noise become pollutants,” he said.