Residents of Dahisar Link Road are demanding action against noise pollution caused by illegal use of loudspeakers by places of worship inside Ganpat Patil Nagar, a huge slum pocket built on mangrove land.
After several citizens filed complaints and discussed the issue during the Local Area Citizens' Committee (LACC) meetings, the New Link Road Residents Forum (NLRRF), a body that represents citizens in the area, took up the issue. It was revealed through an RTI application that the Mumbai police had not given a single permission for usage of loudspeakers in the slums; yet there was no crackdown despite repeated complaints.
"The loudspeakers are being used by places of worship as early as 5.30 am and at times beyond 10 pm. Despite citizens' many complaints to the police control room there has been no action," said Harish Pandey, forum president.
Pandey said the high-pitched noise is depriveing citizens of their fundamental right to sleep peacefully as per Article 21 of the Constitution of India. "Be it a temple or a mosque, all illegally used loudspeakers need to be forfeited. Also, their unchecked use is an offence under Rule 5 of the Noise Pollution Rules 2000," he said.
Another resident said it was shocking that places of worship were coming up inside this illegal slum, which came up after destruction of mangroves. "Why are the cops shying away from taking action?" he said.
Anti-noise pollution activist Sumaira Abdulali said the Supreme Court has said religion cannot be a reason to violate noise rules and the Bombay High Court has also reiterated this.