Do slogan-shouting and loudspeakers used by protestors disturb you? Acting on the complaint of a resident of Connaught Place, the National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi government and the Central Pollution Control Board to map the sound levels in the area, particularly when demonstrations are carried out by protestors near the historic Jantar Mantar. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar asked the city government to examine the sound levels in the area and take steps like fixation of barriers for curbing the noise pollution.
“The said mapping shall be done when demonstrations are going on and when the demonstration are not being held in that area. They shall also identify alternative sites to the present one for holding of demonstrations to prevent noise pollution and traffic congestion, resulting in air pollution,” the bench said. The green panel said the Supreme Court and the High Courts have passed orders from time to time for relocation of the venue to some other place but nothing has been done.
The NGT was hearing a plea filed by Varun Seth and others alleging that processions and agitations held by social groups, political parties, NGOs at the Jantar Mantar Road were a major source of noise pollution in the area. The plea had said regular protests “violate their right to live in a peaceful and healthy environment, right to silence, right to sleep and right to life with dignity.” They had also claimed that despite the law being in place disallowing noise to cross 40 decibels, they have to bear the sound from loudspeakers which sometimes go up to as high as 300 decibels.