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Noise-free environment part of right to life: NGT

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Says violation is a criminal offence

New Delhi: Noise-free environment is part of the right to life and its violation is a criminal offence, the National Green Tribunal has said while directing authorities to look into a plea alleging noise pollution at Gurudwaras in Hoshiarpur district of Punjab.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel noted that the Punjab and Haryana High Court has directed the States of Punjab, Haryana and Union Territory of Chandigarh to ensure that no loudspeaker or public address system shall be used by any person including religious bodies in Temples, Mosques and Gurudwaras without written permission of the authority.
“Noise-free environment being part of the right to life and binding statutory rules having been framed on the subject, violation of which is a criminal offence and the High Court has given binding directions, no further adjudication is required. Only compliance is to be made by the concerned executive authorities. Accordingly, the District Magistrate and SSP Hoshiarpur need to look into the grievance of the applicant in accordance with the law,” the bench said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by Punjab resident Balwinder Kaur against the failure of the statutory authorities to regulate noise pollution at Gurudwaras in Hoshiarpur district in Punjab.
The plea alleged failure of the statutory authorities to regulate noise pollution in Hoshiarpur District, particularly in village Hamja, Tehsil Dasuya.
According to the applicant, Management Committee of Gurudwara Chhevi Patshahi; Management Committee of Guru Nanak Dukh Bhanjan Satsang Ghar; Pastor Amanat Khan Memorial G.N. Church Kotli Khurd; Gurudwara Singh Sabha and Gurudwara Sahib Kala Kullian are using loudspeakers at high volume.
In spite of the complaint of the applicant to the SDM, Dasuya and to the state pollution control board, remedial action was not being taken, the plea alleged.

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