The Bombay High Court directed the Maharashtra government to curb noise pollution resulting from religious festivities, road traffic and construction activities in major cities, observing that the state has failed to implement rules in this regard.
The ruling was delivered by a bench headed by Justice Abhay Oka which was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations alleging violation of noise pollution rules and encroachment by pandals on roads during religious festivals.
The bench asked the Maharashtra government to inform within three months what steps it proposes to take to curb noise pollution in the state.
It also asked the state government to direct the planning authorities at all levels to ensure that quality of life and ambient air standard is maintained while preparing the development plans in various areas and the Regional Town Planning Act.
The high court directed the state government to undertake ‘noise mapping’ in all the major cities and ensure that the data collected from this exercise is used in preparing development plans in different areas of the state.
The bench also asked the state to take action against those authorities which fail to take prompt action on receiving complaints about violation of noise pollution rules.
“Failure to take action will lead to violation of liberty enshrined under article 21 of the Constitution (Right to Equality),” the bench observed.
The court also observed that the state government had failed to implement noise pollution rules in the state and violation of norms was more rampant during religious festivals.
Further, the judges said the government did not follow in letter and spirit the orders passed by the high court in this regard earlier.
The bench also asked the municipal commissioners of civic bodies and Police Commissioners of major cities to formulate a grievance redressal mechanism for noise pollution rules, if not already done.
The judges asked the state to give adequate publicity to the grievance redressal mechanism before the onset of religious festivals such as Ganeshotsav, Dahi Handi and Diwali.