Locals, students raise concern over use of megaphones, loudspeakers by street sellers

Locals, students raise concern over use of megaphones, loudspeakers by street sellers

Vendors say public address systems crucial to business

The increasing use of megaphones and loudspeakers by street sellers in Kashmir has led to growing disorder in the streets, raising concerns among locals and stakeholders. They have called for regulatory measures to address the heightened noise levels, particularly during peak hours.

Citizens from various sections of society, speaking to the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO), expressed their frustration with the disturbance caused by street sellers using megaphones and loudspeakers to attract customers.

They said the amplified noise is not only affecting normal activities but also raising health concerns, especially for patients and the elderly, who may be more vulnerable to the adverse effects of noise pollution.

Extensive research has highlighted the significant health risks associated with both indoor and outdoor environmental noise pollution. The detrimental effects encompass not only noise-induced hearing loss but also a range of non-auditory health issues.

The use of loudspeakers for selling goods in residential areas and close to educational institutions has become prevalent, resulting in higher noise levels and various related issues. From scrap collectors to vegetable and fruit sellers, many have adopted this technique to attract customers through public address systems.

Students across the valley have raised concerns about the impact on their studies, saying the use of the public address systems by the sellers is impacting their studies and educational performances.

“The constant disruption from these loudspeakers is taking a severe hit on our academics,” students from the Central University of Kashmir told KNO.

Residents, voicing their concerns about the increasing nuisance, said excessive noise disrupts daily lives and compromises the overall quality of the living environment.

However, when questioned about their use of megaphones and loudspeakers, some street sellers told KNO that a ban would adversely affect their businesses.

“If megaphone is banned, we will have to shout and some may not hear us, which will affect our sales,” a street seller at Ganderbal town said.

In the recent past, authorities issued directives and took action against those using megaphones and loudspeakers during peak hours in some areas. Such directives were implemented in north Kashmir's Baramulla district, with a ban on public address systems within municipal limits.

However, over time, enforcement appears to have waned. The citizens have urged authorities to consider amendments and enforce regulations to strike a balance between economic activities and the need for a peaceful environment

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