The Bombay High Court directed Maharashtra government to take steps to procure 1,843 decibel meters for the police to ensure there is no violation of noise pollution rules during festivals, public addresses, processions and so on.
A division bench of justices A S Oka and C V Bhadang was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations seeking implementation of noise pollution rules and regulations.
“The authorities have failed completely to ensure implementation of the noise pollution rules. It is the police’s duty to ensure that noise levels at places where religious festivals and functions and processions are held on public roads are measured and prompt action is taken if there is any violation,” the court said.
The court was informed that as of now only 494 decibel meters are available with the police and more 1,843 such meters are required.
“The government shall within three months from today take steps to procure the required decibel meters. The government shall also make proper arrangements for maintenance of checks periodically to ensure that the meters are in working condition,” the court ordered.
The court said prior to every religious festival and also New Year’s eve, the government should give wide publicity to noise pollution rules and ensure that it is implemented.
The court asked the government to take a decision on introducing a mobile app on which people can lodge complaints within two months.
The court expressed shock that during the Navratri festival in October last year, no case of violation of noise pollution rules was registered in Pune, Nagpur, Solapur, Nashik, Aurangabad and Navi Mumbai cities.
“The government cannot make such tall claims that there was not a single case of violation in these cities,” the court said.
The petitions have been posted for further hearing on April 6, by when the government will have to file an affidavit.