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All users of loudspeakers have been asked to obtain written permission from the designated authority.Bengaluru: In the wake of Azaan versus Hanuman Chalisa row in Karnataka, the State government has issued a set of directions on the use of loudspeakers and to remove them if they were not authorised by the ‘designated authority.’The note issued by the state Chief Secretary P Ravi Kumar to the Additional Chief Secretary Jawaid Akhtar, said Forest, Ecology and Environment Department also defined the ‘designated authority.’The development comes following a row from Monday morning on the issue with some Hindu groups, mainly Sriram Sena, Bajrang Dal and Hindu Janajagruthi Samithi organising Bhajan-Keertan from pre-dawn to counter azaan from mosques.As the row aggravated, Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai held a meeting on Monday, following which the Chief Secretary issued a note to Mr Akhtar.Citing the Supreme Court ruling dated July 18, 2005 and October 28, 2005 regarding the implementation of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the Chief Secretary said the loudspeaker or the Public Address System should not be used except after obtaining permission from the designated authority.Rule 5 (2) of the NPRC Rules bars the use of loudspeaker or public address system or any sound producing instrument at night except on closed premises, subject to other condition, the note said.”All users of loudspeakers or public address system shall obtain written permission from the designated authority within 15 days. Those, who don’t obtain, should voluntarily remove or should be removed by the designated authority,” Mr Kumar said in his note.He also directed that a committee should be formed at different levels to decide the application of loudspeaker or public address system.In police commissionerate areas, the committee would comprise assistant commissioner of police, jurisdictional executive engineer of the city corporation and a representative of the State pollution control board.In other areas, deputy superintendents of police, the jurisdictional Tehsildar and a representative of the State pollution control board.”This is applicable to all premises which are using loudspeakers and public address system. Necessary government orders or directions shall be issued to all concerned to implement this with IMMEDIATE effect,” the note read.Reacting to the order, Karnataka Minister for Environment, Ecology and Tourism Anand Singh said the religious institutions have to abide by the rule.“If they break the law related to restrictions after certain time, then action will be taken,” Mr Singh told reporters.“It is applicable to temples, mosques, churches or any marriage ceremony. There are restrictions, which have to be abided by. If any local resident lodges a complaint, action will be taken against them,” the Minister said.Meanwhile, the Sriram Sena chief Pramod Muthalik welcomed the government order.“I extend my gratitude to the Karnataka government for issuing a notification. We have decided to withdraw our Statewide agitation against the misuse of loudspeakers,” Mr Muthalik said in a video statement to the press. (Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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