Bombay high court raps Maharashtra govt’s silence on noise during dahi handi, Ganpati
The court noted the noise had crossed permissible levels during Ganpati, but no apparent action had been taken against the violators
MUMBAI Updated: Sep 08, 2017 00:58 IST
The bench also expressed displeasure over the fact that the government had not made available a dedicated telephone line for citizens to register noise-related complaints during dahi handi and Ganpati celebrations.
The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the state government to submit the number of noise pollution complaints it received during the recent dahi handi and Ganpati festivals and what action was taken against the wrongdoers.
Noting that noise had crossed permissible levels during Ganpati, but no apparent action had been taken against the violators, the division bench of justice Abhay Oka and justice Riyaz Chagla told government pleader Abhinandan Vagyani that now the time had come for him to frankly admit non-compliance of court orders.
During the course of hearing on a bunch of public interest litigations concerning strict implementation of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the bench also expressed displeasure over the fact that the government had not made available a dedicated telephone line for citizens to register noise-related complaints.
Advocate Rohaan Cama, who represented one of the petitioners — Aawaz Foundation — said most of the helpline numbers publicised by the government either did not exist or did not work, and the numbers that were working turned out to be telephone lines meant for some other purposes such as the disaster management cell of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC).
Vagyani, on the other hand, submitted it is not that authorities haven’t done anything. Although the state did not fully comply with court directions concerning noise pollution, “we have made sincere attempts to implement the court orders.”
The court has now posted the bunch of petitions for further hearing on September 29, with a direction to the government pleader to file by September 27 an affidavit giving details of the noise pollution complaints received during the festivals and action taken against the wrongdoers.
Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.