The Bombay High Court asked civic bodies and government authorities in Maharashtra to take firm action against organisations which flout noise pollution rules and pull up the trusts and others that illegally put up pandals during the festivals.
The direction was given by a bench of Justices Abhay Oka and V L Achilya, which was hearing a bunch of PILs on the issue of illegal pandals set up across the state during ‘dahi handi’ and Ganesh festivals with noise pollution rules flouted and inaction by the authorities.
The bench was informed by senior advocate Sanjeev Gorwadkar, appearing for one of the petitioners Mahesh Bedekar, that during the recent Ganesh and dahi handi festivals, several pandals had flouted noise pollution rules but no action was taken against them by police and the concerned civic body.
Thereupon, the bench inquired from state government and Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) lawyers as to what action they proposed to take during the forthcoming Navrati festival this month and other festivals later.
Government pleader Abhinandan Vagiyani informed that the state would issue a Government Resolution a week before the Navarati festival on the issue and carry out inspection to find out the illegal pandals on roads and footpaths.
The court asked the authorities to strictly implement the noise pollution rules during all the festivals so that the public at large is not harassed and the high court orders in this regard are complied with.
The bench had earlier warned of contempt action against officers who do not take action against the offenders who violate noise pollution rules and set up illegal pandals on roads.
Anil Sakhare, counsel for BMC, said 304 illegal pandals were detected during the recently-concluded Ganesh festival and notices were issued to the organisers for recovery of damages suffered.
The court inquired from the government pleader what action had been taken against the BMC officers who did not act against the offenders of noise pollution rules during the Ganesh festival.
“If you do not take any action against such officers, then we shall direct you to do so,” warned the bench.
About noise pollution, the bench asked the authorities to take action not only against pandals but also against the processions of devouts who take Ganesh idols for immersion.
The hearing was adjourned till October 12.