Karnataka Waqf Board blocks usage of loudspeakers between 10 pm to 6 am

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The Karnataka State Board of Aufaq has directed a circular addressed to all the mosques and mausoleums (dargah) in the state to avoid the usage of loudspeakers from 10 pm to 6 am, iterating the ambient noise level revolving around these structures to have “deleterious effects on human health and the psychological well-being of people”.

A circular released over with the date March 9, the board stated, “The loudspeakers shall not be used at night time, which shall mean from 10 pm to 6 am.” Emphasizing on the ‘silent zones’, the circular wrote any violation will be subjected to penalty.

The circular stated, “The areas comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts are declared as silence zones. Whoever uses sound amplifier or burst sound-emitting firecrackers, uses a loudspeaker or public address system in a silence zone is liable for penalty under the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act-1986.”

The decisions were fixed at the 327th meeting of the board which was held at December 19, 2020, which is stringent abiding of Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 in Karnataka.

The order stated, “It is observed that increasing the ambient noise level around many a Masjid and Dargahs due to generator sets, loudspeakers and public address systems have deleterious effects on human health and the psychological well-being of people.”

The board gave a reminder of the circular released on July 10, 2017 regarding the adhering of the ambient noise standards following the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

The circular clearly stated that loudspeakers should be utilized only for “azan” and other crucial announcements and other functions will happen with the speakers installed over the premises of the mosques and dargahs.

Maqsood Imran, the Khateeb O Imam of Bengaluru’s Jamia Masjid acknowledged to PTI about receiving the circular and have addressed the issue to the CEO of the board about updates considering the importance of the morning azan.

He revealed a letter sent by Waqf Board member and MLA Tanveer Sait, the CEO. Sait said, “As the board is an autonomous body, keeping this instruction in the view, you are hereby directed to issue an amended circular at the earliest, considering sunrise timings and use of loudspeakers sensibly between 10 pm to 5 am as the holy month of Ramzan is fast approaching.” “It is a great step towards amiability in the society between the two communities — minorities and majorities,” said ex-chairman of the state Waqf Board Anwar Manippady to PTI.

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