Ahead of the festive season that is set to begin next week with Janmashtami, the Mumbai Police have set up five noise pollution monitoring committees in the city in an attempt to decentralise the reporting the monitoring process. The decision was taken in a Government Resolution (GR) passed last month, following an order of the Bombay High Court in August last year in which the state was directed to curb noise pollution resulting from traffic, construction and festivals.
Thane-based activist Dr Mahesh Bedekar had filed a Public Interest Litigation in court in 2010 in which he had alleged that individuals organising festivals in the city were violating the noise pollution norms.
After Janmasthami, the 10-day Ganesh Chaturthi festivities begin on August 25, followed by Navratri on September 21 and Diwali on October 19 — festivals that the police and NGOs say report maximum noise pollution. The Mumbai Police earlier had a central noise pollution committee headed by the Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order) that had representatives from the state Pollution Control Board and the civil society.
The GR notes that Mumbai, the most populous city in the state, cannot be served adequately by only one committee that hears complaints from all over the city and acts against those.The GR directed noise pollution monitoring committees to be set up under the leadership of additional commissioners of police of all five of the city’s police regions. The committees will include zonal deputy commissioners of police and officials of the MPCB as members and report to the Joint Commissioner of Police (Law and Order), Deven Bharti.
IPS officers in the city said the new committees would greatly improve monitoring of violations of noise pollution norms. “Decentralising the committees will ensure that greater attention can be paid to complaints from all parts of the city,” said a senior IPS officer Another official said that with multiple committees, identifying violators would be quicker. “We will carry out surprise spot checks at pandals to ensure that permissions are in place and that they (the organisers) are not exceeding the set decibel limit and time limit,” he said.