The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the state government to ensure that a grievance redressal mechanism to address complaints pertaining to noise pollution rule violations is created before the onset of the festival season.
The court emphasised that the government would face implications for non-compliance with court orders relating to noise pollution, especially with the Apex Court also having confirmed the high court orders in this regard.
A division bench headed by Justice A S Oka was hearing a bunch of petitions pertaining to violation of noise pollution rules, especially during festivals.
Appearing for Awaaz Foundation, advocate Rohit Cama said none of the toll-free numbers for residents to lodge complaints were operational.
Other issues that were raised were related to noise because of construction and traffic.
The court directed the corporations to take steps under the existing rules and regulations and said that the state government should issue directions to them if the prevelant regulations did not empower the civic bodies to do so.
In terms of noise created by honking, the state had earlier informed the court that it was awaiting presidential assent for implementation of provisions under the Maharashtra Transport and Road Safety Act, 2017, which penalises people for honking needlessly. The penalty for honking will go up from the current Rs 100 to Rs 2,000.
Advocate General A Kumbhakoni informed the court that the government was holding special drives to increase awareness in this regard and those covered under the drive include app-based cab services.
He added that all reports pertaining to implementation of noise pollution rules would be provided to him on the fifth of every month from various departments.
With regard to noise mapping in 27 cities across the state, Cama expressed his reservation on the way it was being carried out. The court then sought a report from the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), that is supposed to conduct the study. “The NEERI should submit its report pertaining to the process and procedure followed by it,” said Justice Oka.