Pune police to crack down on noise on New Year’s Eve

Green tribunal orders confiscation of cars fitted with unauthorised DJ systems to check noise pollution

By Vijdan Saleem
Published: Wednesday 31 December 2014

Photo courtesy: WikipediaPune bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked the police to take stern action against people who play loud music in public places to celebrate the New Year.

The bench of justices V R Kingaonkar and Ajay Deshpande ordered that “mobile vehicles mounted with DJ systems or similar music systems creating sound in excessive decibels than permissible limits... shall be disallowed to be operated and plied on the road by the RTOs and traffic police”.

Though the bench has issued its directions to the Maharashtra police and the state RTO, the order will be applicable throughout the country, says lawyer Asim Sarode.

Talking about how to implement the order, the bench said, “The real question is how to arrest such a menace. The police may take care of (the) behaviour of people creating excessive noise on the streets and warn them initially. Taking penal action immediately may not be suitable due to festivities, unless it is called for, due to any obscene behaviour of such group.”

The order says, “The vehicles may be identified through CCTVs operating in the city or by the traffic police who may contact each other through control rooms. Authorities are free to take appropriate action, including confiscation of such vehicles.” In case of confiscation, a report has to be submitted to the NGT for further directions, says the order.

The order, passed on December 24, came in response to an application filed by Ravindra Bhusari. The bench also said that if there was no special exemption given to play any music publicly on December 31, the authorities may take suitable action against violators of law under provisions of the Air Quality Act or the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, or Bombay Police Act, 1951, as the case may be.

The bench also prohibited illegal loud music at hotels, restaurants, bars and farmhouses. Bhusari, in his application, had mentioned that the use of loud music systems in public places blatantly violated the Noise Control Rules, 2000.

Awaaz Foundation, a network of citizens’ groups and NGOs, has offered to help the authorities to achieve maximum impact. “I welcome the directives of the tribunal but in the first place, there should have been no need for the directives as everything has been laid down against noise pollution in the noise control rules and other Supreme Court directives. Now that the NGT has given directives, it should be implemented across the state. And the need of the hour is to focus on implementation,” says Sumaira Abdulali, convenor, Awaaz Foundation.


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