Bengaluru (Karnataka) [India], March 17 (ANI): The Karnataka State Board of Auqaf (waqf) restricted the management of mosques and dargahs from using loudspeakers between 10 pm to 6 am during namaaz.
The board, in a circular, cited the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, and said loudspeakers used during daytime shall adhere to ambient air quality standards in respect of noise.
"Loudspeakers shall not be used from 10:00 pm onwards up to 6:00 am and loudspeakers used during the day shall be as per the ambient air quality standards," a circular issued by the board stated.
Stating increased ambient noise level, the circular read, "It is observed that increasing ambient noise level around many Masjid and Dargah due to generator sets, loudspeakers and public address systems have deleterious effects on human health and the psychological well-being of the people."
Further underlining the "silence zones", the circular mentioned, "The areas comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts are declared as silence zones."
Noise governing apparatus may be installed in the institution in consultation with the local environment officers, the circular mentioned.
"No sound-emitting firecrackers shall be burnt in or around the Masjid and Dargahs at any occasion," the circular read.
These decisions were taken at the board's 327th meeting held on December 19, 2020, regarding strict adherence to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 in Karnataka and "it unanimously resolved to create awareness amongst the managements of Masjids and Dargahs".
The circular also asked the managements to discourage beggary on the religious premises and instead organise counselling or philanthropic measures at the institutional level.
Moreover, the Board in a circular issued on July 7 2017 has issued instructions to all the Mutawallis and Managing Committees in the state to follow the ambient noise standards as per The Noise Pollution Regulation and Control Rules, 2000.
"The issue of the use of loudspeaker in the Masjid has been raised from time to time in the various Courts across the country. Nevertheless, in order to prevent discomfort and to improve the quality of life reiterating the principle of prevention is the best antidote and the paramount importance attached by Islam ever harmonious and sustainable protection of the natural environment, there is a need to issue following instructions to all the managements of Masjid Dargahs for strictest compliance in order to prevent discomfort," the circular added. (ANI)