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Set up system ASAP for noise plaints, says Bombay High Court

Petitioners also raised the issue of the State writing to the Centre, asking it to relax noise rules during festivals.

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The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the state government to immediately set up a grievance redressal mechanism, before the festive season begins, for citizens to complain about violation of noise pollution rules by mandals and pandals via email, telephone calls, and text messages.

The division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Vibha Kankanwadi said, “The state government should file an affidavit stating the steps taken by August 11.” The court gave the direction after advocate Rohan Cama, appearing for Awaaz Foundation complained that the government has not acted on the court’s order passed in August 2016. Not even a toll free number has been allotted.

The State said that the Regional Transport Authority and Traffic police would be conducting awarness workshops for public transport drivers. 

Petitioners also raised the issue of the State writing to the Centre, asking it to relax noise rules during festivals. The bench reminded the government and other political parties that the Special Leave petition filed by the government against the High Court order, asking for proper implementation of noise rules, has been rejected by the Supreme court and by the bench headed by the Chief Justice of India. Further, the High Court is regularly monitoring the implementation thus the government is well aware of the adverse implications if the order is not followed.

Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni tendered the minutes of a meeting between him and senior police officials, where it was decided that the police will: 1) Implement a drive to curb rash driving. 2) Conduct awareness workshops among school/college children about the harmful effects of high noise levels. All deputy commissioners of police will have to file a report every month about the steps taken for implementation of noise pollution rules.

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