Mumbai: This year, Mumbai witnessed a dip in noise pollution level during Ganpati visarjan, as compared to that of last year and this was possible because of the blanket ban on DJs and Dolby sound systems. However, there have been instances of violation of rules especially by political parties that too in the presence of police, the Bombay High Court was told on Wednesday.
A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Mahesh Sonak accordingly asked the Mumbai Police to explain why it did not act against the political parties, who used loudspeakers at Girgaum Chowpatty, beyond 1 am on the immersion day. The bench has asked the Mumbai Police to explain its ‘inaction’ by November 24 on an affidavit. This comes after the bench perused an affidavit-cum-report filed by NGO Awaaz Foundation stating that 22 places in Mumbai recorded the highest decibel levels during Ganpati visarjan.
The NGO claimed that the highest noise level was recorded in Santa Cruz, that too in the presence of police. “The highest noise level was recorded at Santa Cruz with 113.9 dB. It is however, lower than the highest level in 2017 which was recorded at 119.8 dB,” the affidavit reads. “There were no DJs but the traditional instruments like drums, banjos etc amplified with loudspeakers created the highest noise decibels. The police were observed measuring the noise levels at most locations. DJs were absent from the processions,” the affidavit filed by Sanjay Salunkhe of Awaaz Foundation, states.
The affidavit further claimed that though the police acted against the general public but it failed to initiate any action against political parties. “At Girgaum Chowpatty, although all instruments were stopped at 12 midnight by the police, the political party mandals continued to use loudspeakers beyond 1 am that too in the presence of the police,” the affidavit states. Having noted the same, the bench directed Mumbai Police to explain why action was not taken against such political parties for using loudspeakers beyond permissible time and violating the Noise Pollution Rules, 2000 and the HC orders.