Next time you hear music playing and blinking glittering colourful lights accompanying it, do not dare to proceed ahead and take a different route. There is every possibility that you may either go deaf or have an heart attack if you are an elderly citizen. Indifference of the police administration has left the denizens of Sambalpur getting exposed to high-decibel DJ music accompanying ‘Baaraat’ processions. And it continues to torture you even after 10 pm with the administration refusing to act on violation of noise pollution norms.
Sources said while neighbouring Bargarh has banned DJ music and other adjacent district administrations have ensured it is regulated, no step has been taken in Sambalpur to check it. The music not only leaves you disturbed but also creates ripples in household articles when it passes through streets. “The volume of the DJ is so high that the window panel gets vibrated because of the noise. The sound grows louder when night falls with traffic on the road going off. Odisha State Pollution Control Board (OSPCB) has also failed to put a check on it,” alleged a resident.
As per sub-section 29 of Pollution Control Act, 1986, there is a clear provision of noise level at different times and places of the day. While in industrial areas, the noise level should not exceed 75 decibel, it should be 55 decibel in commercial areas and 45 decibel in residential areas. The OSPCB is responsible to measure the noise level and any violation can be intimated to the police, who in turn will initiate action. But with majority of Kalyan Mandaps and Marriage Halls located in residential areas in Sambalpur city, high-decibel sound continues to haunt denizens. There has been no instance of administration taking action over violation of the provision.
Assistant Environmental Scientist of OSPCB S N Nanda said they can only measure noise level and intimate the administration, if directed. Similarly, Sambalpur Sadar SDPO, Mihir Panda, admitted that there is a direction of both the Supreme Court and the High Court on the noise level and that they are aware of the guidelines and its violation. He said the proposal to clamp down on such violation is under consideration along with playing music and band after 10 pm.
Senior ENT Specialist Dr Satyajit Mishra said sudden exposure to high-decibel sound leads to head reeling, dizziness and hearing loss. He said high-decibel sound during ‘Baaraat’ procession should be banned immediately. Similar ban on DJ was echoed by cardiologist Sunil Sharma, who said sudden exposure to high decibel sound causes irritation and could lead to cardiac arrest and heart attack following stress in the brain.