China bans noise to let students study

Beijing, May 28 (IANS) Local governments in a few provinces in China have introduced a ban on noise in an effort to help students prepare for the national college entrance examinations.

In Hangzhou in Zhejiang province, anyone making excessive noise till June 14 will face fines as high as 50,000 yuan ($7,321). The ban was also implemented in Fujian province and in Chongqing.

The ban aims to protect high school students from distracting noises at night while they cram for the examinations, scheduled from June 7, Global Times reported.

The national examination scores determine whether high school graduates are entitled to further higher education.

At least 100 officers have been given the responsibility to enforce the rule, said Sun Liandong, spokesman for the administrative enforcement bureau of Xihu district.

‘Enforcement officials will get to the source of noise within 30 minutes after we receive the phone call,’ Sun was quoted as saying.

Contractors in the city, meanwhile, need to get special permission to do construction work at night. They must notify the neighbourhood residents three days in advance, specifying the work schedule and type of project.

Construction noise violators will be fined up to 50,000 yuan. People who use ear-splitting loudspeakers at night will be fined 5,000 yuan ($732), the noise management regulation said.

‘In 2009, we detected only eight construction sites violating the ban during late May, the study period when we restrict noise to help high school students. We are confident that the situation this year will be better because the fines were raised from 20,000 yuan ($2,928) to 50,000 yuan,’ Sun said.