Free Press Journal

HC warns of against pandals being set up without permit


Satsang Bal Ganesh Mitra Mandal, Mira Road

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court today said it would issue contempt notices to all those political parties, trusts and organisations which set up pandals during ‘Dahi Handi’ and Ganesh Chaturthi festivals without securing permission and flouted noise pollution rules.

“Looking at the personalities involved, there will be grave difficulties for the civic body to take action which is why the high court will have to step in. They (political parties) have taken law in their own hands. The law of the land says that permission has to be taken before erecting pandals and noise pollution rules should not be flouted. Now they all will face contempt action,” the high court said. A division bench of Justices A S Oka and V L Achliya was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations on the issue of illegal pandals being set up across the state during Dahi Handi and Ganesh Chaturthi festivals and noise pollution rules being breached and inaction by the authorities.

The bench was informed by senior advocate Sanjeev Gorwadkar, appearing for one of the petitioners Mahesh Bedekar, that during Dahi Handi festival several pandals had flouted noise pollution rules but no action was taken against them by the concerned civic body.

According to readings recorded by Awaaz Foundation, the decibel level at several pandals set up by political parties like Shiv Sena (Shivaji Park), Congress (Worli) and MNS (Dadar and Thane) was way above the prescribed level.

“We are taking a serious view of the fact that civic body officers are not taking action against such pandals. We are going to direct the concerned corporation to give us a list of the names of all those pandals that have been erected without permission. We will initiate contempt proceedings against them. Apart from the pandals, the officers who failed to take action will also face contempt,” the court said.

In another petition filed against erection of a Ganesh pandal on Thane-Belapur road, the court asked the trust to submit an undertaking that it will not obstruct traffic and abide by noise pollution rules.