China / Society

Public weighs in on noise rule

By Ma Lie in Xi'an (China Daily) Updated: 2014-06-28 07:42

Public weighs in on noise rule
More than 150 Russian tourists visiting Heihe city, Northeast China's Heilongjiang province, play square-dancing in one of the city's parks on June 25, 2014. [Photo/IC]

Xi'an, capital of Shaanxi province, is preparing to take measures to ban square-dancing between 10 pm and 7 am.

The city government's legislative affairs office issued the draft of the Xi'an Environmental Regulations on Noise Pollution Prevention on its website on Tuesday.

Violators will be fined up to 1,000 yuan ($160), according to the draft. Additionally, the organization that hosts the dancing will be fined up to 10,000 yuan.

The government is soliciting public feedback on the draft via the Internet, e-mail, phone calls and letters to the city's legislative affairs office before July 10.

"Punishment for the noisy square-dancing is only a small part of the draft," said Wang Anjun, deputy director of the legislative affairs office.

The proposed regulations mainly focus on the noises made by industrial production, construction and urban traffic, as well as the noises made by business activities that use loudspeakers and high-power audio equipment to attract customers, he said.

However, the penalties for noisy square-dancing have drawn attention because of recent conflicts between square dancers with loud music and residents who complained of being disturbed.

On Aug 30, a resident surnamed Shi in Beijing could not bear the loud square dance music and fired a gun into the air. Shi was sentenced in April to six months in prison for illegal possession of a firearm.

On May 2, 2013, a man surnamed Zhao in Xingzi county, Jiangxi province, tried to stop square dancers but was rebuffed. He then injured the dance organizer with a knife.

The increasing conflicts between square dancers and residents prompted calls for more effective oversight of square dancing, and many cities have attempted to address the noise that comes with the activity.

Many residents have welcomed regulation of square-dancing, saying that they had been suffering a lot because of the noise.

"My house is next to a square in our residential community, and we suffered from the noise almost every night. We couldn't even open our window in the summer," said a resident surnamed Liu.

Han Yuxiang, a 53-year-old resident who enjoys square dancing for physical exercise, did not think the dancers disturbed others and said that their dancing usually ends before 10 pm.

Wang Wei, a lawyer with the Xi'an Bowei law firm, said that regulations are needed for urban management and that local residents, including square dancers and residents complaining of the noise, should raise their legal awareness.

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