TAMIL NADU

Residents allege flagrant violation of laws

CHENNAI AUG. 10. City residents have united under the banner of Voice Against Noise to push for enforcement of "repeated violation of laws pertaining to noise pollution" during the `Aadi' month.

The citizens' group has shot off a letter to the police commissioner drawing his attention to "the flagrant violation of laws" taking place in various parts of the city, as part of celebrations during the month.

Mentioning specific areas affected by the noise pollution, the letter stated that frequent complaints were received from Eldams Road, Spurtank Road-Harrington Road junction, Abhiramapuram, Rangarajapuram Main Road and Ashok Nagar. Music and drama sequences were frequently played on sound amplifier devices and speakers well into the night, according to a letter signed by M. B. Nirmal, founder and chairman of Voice Against Noise.

It also mentioned that various entertainment programmes were scheduled at Rangarajapuram Main Road between August 7 and September 10. The programmes invariably started after 10 p.m. and went on, late into the night, violating the laws and disrupting peace of the neighbourhood.

Even on Saturday, a lengthy stretch on Venkatanarayana Road near Nandanam was blocked to traffic as crowds gathered at a temple festival near the Boag Road junction. The sound system was blasting devotional songs, arguably higher than the permitted decibel limits, said a resident.

The same evening, the Harrington Road-Spurtank Road junction turned an open-air theatre.

A stage was erected at one corner of the road on top of which an orchestra group played loud songs. Besides the decibel level, the blocked roads too caused discomfort to road-users and residents.

Complaints were also made against policemen, who were on duty at these spots, as they did not make any efforts to reprimand those violating the law.

The organisation requested the police to forewarn artistes, who participate in such programmes, that action could be taken against them for exceeding permissible decibel levels. Such programmes should not be allowed on the roads, it said.