Case against Trinamool for noise pollution

Monday, February 21, 2011

KOLKATA - Kolkata Police have lodged a complaint against the Trinamool Congress for violating sound pollution norms while holding a rally in the central part of the city Sunday, an official said Monday. Party leaders denied the charge.

According to a West Bengal Pollution Control Board official, a Calcutta High Court order prohibits all open air functions which entail use of loud speakers or microphones, three days before the commencement of the state secondary examinations.

This year, the West Bengal Board of Secondary Examination-run Madhyamik (secondary) exams begin Feb 23.

“The extract of the order issued on August 11, 1998, states three days before state secondary examinations, where interests of large number of students are involved and till such examinations are over, any open air function should not be performed in the residential area at any time of such period, as notified by the WBPCB,” said the board’s chief law officer Biswajit Mukherjee.

“This notification is applicable to the entire city. Earlier the request of the Congress to hold an open rally prior to the 2009 Lok Sabha polls was also turned down,” said Mukherjee.

“Trinamool was asked by police to get a no-objection from the PCB. We had explained to them the past precedents and requested them to get a court order so that the rally can be allowed. To our knowledge, no court has granted any relief,” he said, wondering why police allowed the rally when no clearance was issued by the board.

Questioned on the issue, Minister of State for Shipping — and Trinamool Congress general secretary — Mukul Roy contended that neither the pollution control board nor police have a right to lodge complaint.

“The rally was organised as per existing guidelines under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control Rules), 2000 issued and amended by the Calcutta High Court. As law-abiding citizens of the country, we’ve followed the existing guidelines and there has been no violation.”

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