Banned! Pollution laws in UP to spoil the party

Alka Rastogi

It seems political parties in UP are not the only ones who must observe a code of conduct. Even marriages and birthday parties in the state will now be monitored closely.

The Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board on Tuesday decided to come down heavily on musical bands that generate excessive noise during marriages, birthday parties, mundans, political processions, and other similar functions.

A law towards prevention of noise pollution already exists in the state since October 2000, but the pollution control board has decided to implement it vigorously from January 19.

Interestingly, the "Sahalak Season" or the beginning of auspicious period for Hindu marriages has commenced from January 19 after a break of four weeks.

Dr C S Bhatt, secretary, Uttar Pradesh Pollution Control Board, said that action against the offenders would be initiated under Pollution Control Rules, 2000 and band companies, musicians as well as organisers of marriages would face action, including heavy penalties.

The rules ban playing of bands at public places after 10 pm. During the day, they are prohibited to cross the prescribed decibel limit. Bhatt revealed that board inspectors would raid such parties to see that rules are not violated. He said that music systems of 250 watt only would be permitted.

The board has already issued notices regarding the same to several guesthouses, marriage halls and six band companies.

Many social organisations have welcomed the ban saying that high volumes disturb the entire neighbourhood, especially during examination days. However according to Suresh Chandra Dhanuk, convener, Uttar Pradesh Band Companies Association, "The law infringes upon the fundamental right of people to celebrate."