The Bombay High Court at the Goa bench recently issued a slew of directives to the authorities there to curb noise pollution, especially in the night hours. The HC has further ordered the authorities to conduct surprise inspection visits at hotels and restaurants, which organise late-night parties.
A bench of Justices Revati Mohite-Dere and Mukulika Jawalkar was hearing a PIL seeking various directions, including one to ensure that no loud music is played after 10:00 p.m. and to strictly implement the provisions of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Noise Pollution (Regulation & Control) Rules, 2000 and to take action against such offenders.
The bench, having considered the reliefs sought, ordered the authorities to float up a dedicated telephone line bearing number 112 (24 x 7), which shall be maintained for receiving complaints of noise pollution.
"The record of such complaints shall be maintained by the control room operating the helpline and also forward the complaint to the local police stations, which shall immediately carry out inspection if the allegation is found to be correct, appropriate steps are required to be taken to stop such noise pollution, register FIR and investigate and proceed against the violators in accordance with law," the judges said.
The bench further said that the police must report each such case to the District Magistrate, who would act in accordance with law to enforce the rules.
Further, the judges ordered the authorities to conduct continuous night patrolling by Local Intelligence Bureau, Beat Staff, Sub DivisionNight Duty Officers to ensure that there is no violation of noisepollution laws, more particularly in thecoastal areas.
"Patrolling by mobile vans and motorcycles to be maintained during the night time to curb the menace of noise pollution. Surprise raids and checks be conducted on regular basis and violators, if any found, are tobe immediately prosecuted under therelevant penal provisions of the Environment Protection Act," the judges ordered.
"The noise monitoring committees constituted, should carry out surprise inspections at various shacks, restaurants, hotels in the coastal villages, which are known to be organizing late-night parties with music amplified sounds and if the sound levels are found to be beyond the permissible decibels or the sound system is being used beyond 10 pm inthe night, they should file a complaint and register an FIR with the local police station immediately," the judges ordered.
"The state should commence a public awareness campaign along with the media to create awareness with regard to noise pollution, particularly, with regards to use of loudspeakers, amplifiers, and firecrackers," the judges added.
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