Pune: The city police have assured a strict implementation of rules and regulations regarding noise pollution during upcoming festivals such as ‘Dahi Handi’ and ‘Ganeshotsav’. Now, each police station is equipped with four-decibel meters for the police to record noise levels in their areas and take action.
Similarly, teams of two to three police officials have been set up, which will look into cases of violation of noise pollution norms within their respective jurisdiction.
DCP Sudhir Hiremath told Sakal Times that four-decibel meters were provided to each police station to check for violation of noise pollution norms.
Welcoming the move, activist-lawyer Asim Sarode said it is a great news as noise pollution is harming citizens.
“The police were given noise meters earlier also, which were hardly used. The police should not dither over implementing the Anti-noise Pollution Act. In many cases, we have seen that the court has to intervene and give guidelines to the police in implementing such acts, which is not a sign of a good civil society. Rather, the police should take suo motu action in such situations,” said Sarode.
The activist highlighted the need for a joint effort by the police, citizens and corporate houses to solve issues related to noise pollution.
“We are not against celebrating any festival. People can celebrate their festivals but they should not trouble others,” he said.
In 2016, the police took action against various Ganesh mandals for violating norms. However, intervention by politicians in criminal cases nullified police action.
“Leaders should not support mandals in such cases at any cost,” added the lawyer.
A police official said that mandals hide multiple Dolby speakers in their vans during Dahi Handi and Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations. “Every year, we hold meetings with these mandals and inform them about the noise pollution norms. But some mandals break the rules,” said the official.
In 2016, the Chandannagar police lodged 17 offences against various mandals, which took out processions on the occasions of the birth anniversaries of Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and during Dahi Handi and Navratri celebrations.
Last year, during Ganpati immersion, the Regional Transport Office (RTO), Pune, imposed a fine of Rs 1 lakh on a vehicle owner, who had modified his vehicle to install heavy loudspeakers. The Chandannagar police had seized the vehicle. A notice was sent to Balu Jamadar, the owner of the vehicle, who was asked to pay fine of Rs 1.03 lakh.