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JMC passes resolution to remove illegal loudspeakers from religious, public places

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Jammu: The Jammu Municipal Corporation (JMC) on Tuesday passed a resolution for the removal of loudspeakers and public address systems operating without permission from religious and public places, evoking criticism from the rival Congress.

This decision comes after Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra implemented a similar order.

Narotam Sharma, corporator of Ward 3, introduced a resolution in the House meeting of JMC seeking directions to the district magistrate to remove loudspeakers and public address systems that are being operated in banquet and community halls, mosques, temples, gurdwaras, churches and other religious shrines without permission.

As per the resolution, the Jammu district magistrate is required to ensure that no such devices are played within the JMC Jurisdiction between 10 pm to 6 am.

“Our corporator brought the resolution on illegal loudspeakers. It was tabled here in the House and passed,” Mayor Chander Mohan Gupta told reporters, adding that the administration will act on it.

As the Congress opposed the resolution, Gupta said, “There was no need for any opposition on this as it pertains to all religions.”

He was of the opinion that only those public address systems with requisite permissions should be allowed with a permissible decibel level.

Notably, BJP has a majority in the JMC with 43 councillors.

Speaking to the media following the passing of the resolution, JMC Mayor, Chander Mohan Gupta said: “It’s not a new step. We already have guidelines from the Supreme Courts and Pollution Control Board with regard to the noise pollution control.”

“We will not remove them, but the administration will remove the loud speakers,” he added.

Meanwhile, Congress Party’s Municipal Councillor, Ritu Choudhary said that there was no discussion on the resolution. “We stood up and demanded a proper discussion on the resolution which was against the basic ethos of Jammu which is known as the City of Temples,” Choudhary said.

Claiming that they were assured a one-and-half hour discussion on the said resolution, she said that “the wine shops which are opened in the city and even close to the religious places should be closed.”

The resolution suggested that the JMC and district administration should jointly issue advertisements in newspapers, radios, televisions, and through social media for awareness of the general public and these organizations about causes and impact of noise pollution on the health of the citizens including patients, elderly people and the children.

The resolution also sought sufficient time for the organizations to comply with the provisions of this rule and judgement so that no one complains of any hassles and discrimination.

The resolution which is yet to be moved in the Corporation’s general house meeting also suggests that “traffic police should be asked to ensure no horn zones and penalize the offenders to curtail the noise pollution”.

“We shall also install noise checking meters at selective places at the initial stage in collaboration with the Pollution Control Board and other allied agencies,” the resolution’s reads.

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