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Bane of Noise Pollution & Agony of the Aggrieved

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By S Paul

Now, even 20 days after Diwali, we are being bombarded with the noise of fire crackers almost every evening and late into the night. It appears that all in our administration and government of the state located in the valley of Dehradun are hearing impaired or have planted some filters in their ears which protect them from noise pollution caused by the Chinese invention of fire crackers now being used extensively by our unconcerned and undisciplined janta on any occasion of celebration. I accuse the government and the administrative machinery of being in criminal conspiracy with the manufacturers, the sellers and the users in this crime defined by The Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 and also The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981, as amended to date.
The crackers not only produce noise but toxic smoke and are very damaging to the flora and fauna of this region and state. The uncaring politicians in governance safely retire to their sound proof hotel rooms or in the safe confines of their government accommodations far from the madding crowd of the cities/towns/villages of the valley. The bureaucrats too have created from themselves a quiet secure colony at Rajpur and are not much bothered about the citizens living in crowded urban and suburban area.
I again refer to the letter to the editor, GP, dated 5 October, 2019, by one Ms Neelum Shivrain written in anguish and pain against the inability of the administration to exercise any control over the intense noise pollution created by unconcerned citizens.
It is obvious that the common people are not even aware of this crime and legal embargos which our judiciary just churns out without making sure that those responsible to implement these laws are accountable and are themselves liable to be punished. Unfortunately, our governments at the centre and states significantly constitute criminals and vested interests defy the judiciary and keep dragging on the implementation.
Just making a big media show of asking the janta to shun use of crackers does not free them of their responsibility. Have we, as a race, become so insensitive and cruel as not to consider the poverty ridden children and adults who are incinerated or gravely hurt while hand manufacturing these so called items of our entertainment all over the nation and specially in Shivakasi? Our religious leaders and teachers, too, do not condemn and implement this in their religious practices. Our environmentalists, who keep blowing hot and cold on such matters, have failed to take up cudgels to get our society cleansed of this anti-social practice. What about the conscience of our society, the NGOs, who ought to team up and file PILs against the Administration for non-implementation of the law?
The use of these blasting crackers should be totally banned even on Diwali (now degraded to being called ‘Pattakha wali). This and the use of loud speakers are alien to our great culture and spiritual celebrations. Those who speak eloquently of our superior culture should come out full blast against all and sundry who are trying to amalgamate ours with other alien cultural practices. Please NETA Sirs! Instead of using public space and tax money in putting up huge hoardings greeting each other on birthdays or welcoming each other in the town or greeting their vote bank (only a marketing gimmick) on festivals should instead consider educating and admonishing the janta on this evil and the illegal practice by putting up bill boards, advertising in news media and TV or even use loud speakers going around in the streets to tell people of this banned practice. A determined all out effort is needed. SOS.