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'Ensure microphones have sound limiters during campaign'

Ensure microphones have sound limiters during campaign
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KOLKATA: The West Bengal Pollution Control Board (WBPCB) has written to the District Magistrates and Superintendents of Police of all the districts to ensure that the microphones used by the political parties during rallies and campaigns are fitted with sound limiters.

The agency that rents out microphones will be held responsible if the same is not fitted with sound limiter and the police administration will take action against such agency as per legal provisions.

"The police have been instructed to prosecute such agencies that deal in microphones without sound limiters," Rajesh Kumar, Member Secretary of WBPCB said.

The blaring of microphones during elections and also during festivals are a major irritant for a section of people particularly the elderly.

Students complain of their inability to concentrate in studies for deafening noise of loud speakers.

The National Green Tribunal, Eastern Zone bench in October 2017 had imposed a total ban on loudspeakers without sound limiters and had directed urban local bodies and Panchayats not to issue trade licenses to establishments not fitting sound limiters to equipment they let out.

Sources in WBPCB said that for violations in this regard, section 188 of IPC and Section 15 of Environment Protection (EP) Act is applicable which may lead to imprisonment of five years and fine to the extent of Rs 1 lakh or both.

People can lodge complaints regarding blaring of microphones at very high pitch at the toll free number 18003453390, 03323353913.

People can also use the Paribesh App for lodging complaints against such instances of violations through the Twitter and Facebook page of WBPCB, an official said.

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