Guwahati declares ‘silent zone’ around all religious places

The notification states that it was issued in “compliance of the direction received from the Government of Assam”.

Written by Samudra Gupta Kashyap | Guwahati | Published:April 30, 2017 2:59 am
Ganesh Temple in Guwahati (Representational Image). Source: Wikimedia Commons

THE DISTRICT Magistrate of Kamrup (Metro) district, which includes Guwahati city and its suburbs, has declared a radius of 100 metres from “all prominent religious places” under his jurisdiction — including temples, mosques, gurudwaras and churches — as a “silent zone”. According to a notification issued Friday evening, DM M Angamuthu has also asked the State Pollution Control Board to submit a monthly report on noise pollution in these zones.

The notification states that it was issued in “compliance of the direction received from the Government of Assam”. It states that the decision was taken under Rule 3 (2) of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, of the Environment Protection Act of 1986. The notification, however, does not directly refer to the use of microphones and loudspeakers in places of worship.

When contacted by The Sunday Express, Angamuthu declined to comment on the contents of the notification. “Anyway, the use of loudspeakers is not permitted between 10 pm and 6 am,” he said. Officials from the BJP-led government in Assam were not available for comment. Rule 3 of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, of the Environment Protection Act of 1986, deals with “ambient air quality standards in respect of noise for different areas/zones”.

Rule 3 (2) states that the “State Government may categorise the areas into industrial, commercial, residential or silence areas/zones for the purpose of implementation of noise standards for different areas”. According to the notification, the five areas marked as silent zones in Guwahati include all government and private hospitals; educational institutions; the high court, district and sessions court and the CJM’s court; all government offices; and, “all prominent religious places inclusive of temples, gurudwaras, mosques, churches, monastery, math and naam-ghar, etc”.

The notification states that officials of the Public Works Department have been asked to place proper signages in the notified areas within 15 days. The State Pollution Control Board has been asked to collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to noise pollution as well as measures taken for its effective prevention and control, it says. The issue of loudspeakers being used at places of worship was the subject of a heated debate on social media recently after singer Sonu Nigam wrote that he had been woken by the azaan and questioned the use of loudspeakers at places of worship.

On April 16, Nigam posted on his official Twitter account: “God bless everyone. I’m not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the Azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India.” In another tweet, he wrote: “I don’t believe in any temple or gurudwara using electricity to wake up people who don’t follow the religion. Why then..? Honest? True?”

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  1. N
    May 1, 2017 at 3:26 pm
    Good call just to fool the janta how abt npise pollution by motor vehicle horns, y no monitoring on it y very very vert old vehicles run unchecked. Where is the authorities to check the vehicle air pollution certificate the noise decibel department. Religion is the most sensitive issue so everyone uses it. Now the order will just ignite another reason to brawl. While the subject is still un attended.
    1. C
      Apr 30, 2017 at 5:49 pm
      1. I
        Apr 30, 2017 at 5:24 pm
        I will agree to this only if mosque loud speakers are removed, but jihadi Muslims will never remove loud speakers as their Allah is deaf and canot hear even after 12 loud speakers on each mosque building , just look at Syria, do you think Allah can hear? Definitely not
        1. K
          K V
          Apr 30, 2017 at 5:21 pm
          Yes big must follow with letter and true spiritual spirit. Sounds evaporates energy and silence rejenovates energy..prayers with in Mandirs,Masjids and Churches etc . Be done as per their rituals with out mikes, sounds etc., "Srirama"
          1. V
            Vasudevan Venugopal
            Apr 30, 2017 at 4:29 pm
            A very good decision. Hats off to the District Magistrate Shri M. Angamuthu. Kudos. May his tribe increase.
            1. L
              Apr 30, 2017 at 3:05 pm
              weather all mandir ghantas will be removed - they are most noise creating
              1. C
                Chunchu Madhu Kumar
                Apr 30, 2017 at 4:08 pm
                Hi to everyone.! Myself Madhu Chunchu from Hyderabad.! We are one not individual... Don't say am Hindu, Christian and Muslin. Every religion teach good don't make unnecessary comments on one religion please I request you all.,it depends on individual believe. So, coming to banning of loudspeakers it's good for all. Don't mix with religion please.,if your Hindu, Christian or Muslin if you have any heart patience in your home will you all the loudspeaker to run like that., so who is having problem where we can go and see all the houses in a particular place so please please think as we are in problem. Jai Hind. Be proud of being an Indian. I love my nation😊.
                1. I
                  Apr 30, 2017 at 5:23 pm
                  People like you will be crushed like roaches by Islamist for which religion you are batting here. Gullible , coward south indina men. You are not true Hindus, you are just cowards and not bale to fight Islamic terrorists
              2. D
                Dr. C. R. Jayanth
                Apr 30, 2017 at 2:52 pm
                I support anybody who says, that religion shouldn't be enforced. What right has anybody got, to disturb another individual in the name of religion ,either psychological,physically or by noise pollution. We need to support any govt which takes a clear stand on "uniform civil code "to be implemented in our country and removes rules and laws which prevents our country men from staying or owning properties in our own India.
                1. I
                  Apr 30, 2017 at 5:25 pm
                  Islam is the only problem nothing else
                  1. r
                    Apr 30, 2017 at 11:57 pm
                    1. R
                      May 1, 2017 at 8:19 pm
                      Reveal ur true name agenda for causing religious intolerance...
                  2. A
                    Apr 30, 2017 at 2:16 pm
                    A very good move. All kinds of noise pollution specially forced noise pollution like ajaan must be stopped in w India. Let's live in silence and peaceful atmosphere.
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