The Kamrup district administration has declared the areas within 100-metre radius of hospitals, educational institutes, courts and religious places “Silence Zones”, PTI reported on Sunday. The order was issued by Kamrup (Metropolitan) District Magistrate M Angamuthu on April 28. Guwahati city and its suburbs fall under the district jurisdiction.

The district magistrate has also ordered the installation of proper signage in “Silent Zones” within 15 days. According to the notice, the Member Secretary of the Pollution Control Board will collect, compile and publish technical and statistical data relating to noise pollution and take measures for its effective prevention. They will also submit reports on a monthly basis. The notice further states that anyone aggrieved with the order should voice their opinion before the district magistrate within 15 days of issue of the notice.

The notice was issued in compliance with the direction received from the government of Assam under Rule 3 (2) of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, of the Environment Protection Act of 1986.

On April 17, singer Sonu Nigam had kicked up a controversy after he had complained on Twitter about being woken up by the azaan in the morning. “When will this forced religiousness end in India?” he had said, drawing near-immediate outrage. The next day, he had tried to clarify that he was merely criticising the use of loudspeakers, not the “azaan or aarti”.