Posted on 4th June, 2022
THE HONOURABLE GOVERNOR,
GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
THE HONOURABLE CHIEF MINISTER,
GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
Sub: Requesting for stopping hazards caused by organizing festivals by blocking roads and usage of loudspeakers and DJ Boxes in public places
It is observed that in the contemporary West Bengal:
a. the frequent usage of Loudspeakers and DJ Boxes are proliferating, irrespective of religious festivals and political events;
b. temporary Pandals/mandaps are constructed by blocking the roads, hence hindering the emergency services.
Oftentimes, the above are organized without taking the necessary permission from the local authorities, e.g.,
The Bombay High Court gave their verdict against such encroachment of roads that seriously obstructs all emergency services such as the ambulance services, fire services and disaster management in general:
No religion says block roads and break law for festivals: HC VIEW HERE ⤡(As Reported on 12th October, 2015©The Times of India)
The Division Bench of the Bombay High Court observed, “No religion says that festivals are to be celebrated by obstructing roads or in breach of law by causing nuisance and annoyance to a large number of citizens (…) No person can claim their right under Article 25 of the Indian Constitution to celebrate festivals by obstructing roads. Religious festivals have to be celebrated in a meaningful manner.”
Furthermore, this type of encroachment is fully illegal as per the Allahabad High Court as well:
“There is no fundamental or legal right to encroach upon a public road (including highway), street etc. and raise construction of any kind thereon. These unauthorized and illegal activities cause hindrance and interruption in free flow and movement of traffic including foot walkers. Every citizen has a fundamental right of movement and this cannot be allowed to be infringed by a few violators in public and apathy of State authorities.”
No Encroachment on Public Roads in the Name of Religion VIEW HERE ⤡(As reported on 17th June, 2016 ©SCC Online Blog)
The Kerala High Court had also taken the same path:
Kerala High Court Seeks State’s Response To Plea Seeking Ban On Demonstrations, Festivals On Public Roads VIEW HERE ⤡ (As reported on 8th November, 2021 ©Live Law)
Remembering the famous proverb in this regard: “What Bengal Thinks Today, India Thinks Tomorrow.” If Maharashtra, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala could ban festivals that obstruct roads and cause hassles for the common citizens, why cannot West Bengal follow the same path?
We are earnestly requesting you to stop such a particular hazard from taking place as well as all other incidents of frequent road-blocking due to the occurrence of such high-decibel festivals or jalsa (party or celebration). We are also sincerely praying for stopping the use of DJ Boxes and Loudspeakers in public places, irrespective of the particular religion or political party.
This is to request you kindly to stop this nuisance for the greater public good and environmental benefits accruing therefrom.
Please find below the audio-visual documentation of a few instances of such hazards in West Bengal:
All these hazards are undoubtedly infringing our basic human and non-human rights.
Thanking you in anticipation,
Dr. Debaprasad Bandyopadhyay
Mrs. Rupa Bandyopadhyay
Mr. Akhar Bandyopadhyay
On Behalf of the Once In A Blue Moon Academia⤡
1. THE HONOURABLE MINISTER-IN-CHARGE, DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENT, GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
2. THE HONOURABLE CHAIRMAN, POLLUTION CONTROL BOARD, GOVERNMENT OF WEST BENGAL
बहुजनहिताय बहुजनसुखाय च॥
(“For the happiness of the many, for the welfare of the many”)