Bengaluru, May 10: In the wake of the Azaan versus Hanuman Chalisa row in Karnataka, the state government has issued a set of directions on the use of loudspeakers and to remove them if they were not authorised by the 'designated authority.'
The note issued by the state Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar to the Additional Chief Secretary Jawaid Akhtar said Forest, Ecology and Environment Department also defined the 'designated authority.'
The development comes following a row from Monday morning on this issue with some Hindu groups, mainly Sriram Sena, Bajrang Dal and Hindu Janajagruthi Samithi organising Bhajan-Keertan from pre-dawn to counter Azaan from mosques.
As the row aggravated, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai held a meeting on Monday, following which the Chief Secretary issued a note to Akhtar. Citing the Supreme Court ruling dated July 18, 2005, and October 28, 2005, regarding the implementation of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the Chief Secretary said loudspeakers or the Public Address System should not be used except after obtaining permission from the designated authority. Rule 5 (2) of the NPRC Rules bars the use of loudspeaker or public address system or any sound-producing instrument at night time except in closed premises, subject to other conditions, the note said.
"All users of loudspeakers or public address system shall obtain written permission from the designated authority within 15 days. Those who don't obtain should voluntarily remove or should be removed by the designated authority," Kumar said in his note.
He also directed that a committee should be formed at different levels to decide on the application of loudspeaker or public address systems. In police commissioner areas, the committee will comprise an assistant commissioner of police, a jurisdictional executive engineer of the city corporation and a representative of the state pollution control board. In other areas, deputy superintendents of police, the jurisdictional Tehsildar and a representative of the state pollution control board.
"This is applicable to all premises which are using loudspeakers and public address system. Necessary government orders or directions shall be issued to all concerned to implement this with IMMEDIATE effect," the note read.