K’taka Wakf prohibits use of loudspeakers between 10 pm and 6 am

The Karnataka State Board of Wakfs has issued a circular prohibiting the use of loudspeakers between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. during ‘azaan’ or the Islamic call for ritual prayers recited at prescribed times of the day.

In a circular, the board stated that the decision to bar the use of loudspeakers during the specified time was taken to prevent noise pollution.

“With the objective of maintaining the ambient standards of noise, the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 are in force. The loudspeakers shall not be used in night time, from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.,” the circular said.

However, the circular does not bar using loudspeakers for important announcements such as death, timing of burial, sighting of moon etc.

“Congregational Salat, Juma Qutba, Bayans, religious, socio-cultural and knowledge-based-functions shall be performed with the speakers installed in the religious premises,” the ciruclar added.

The circular said that it is observed that increasing ambient noise level around many masjids and dargahs due to generator sets, loudspeakers and public address systems have deleterious effects on human health and the psychological well-being of the people.

The area comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts have been declared as silent zones.

“Whoever uses any sound amplifier, sound emitting fire crackers, loudspeaker or public address system in the silent zones is liable for penalty under the provisions of Environment (Protection) Act, 1986,” the circular explained.

It further stressed that this order has been issued after the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board directed the Wakf board to take necessary action to maintain ambient sound levels in and around religious places.