Pune: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the State government and the Transport Department to issue an email address and a WhatsApp number within two weeks, so that citizens can file noise pollution-related grievances.
NGT also directed the transport and the police to ensure that the sound systems are not used in notified ‘silence zones’.
This direction came in the wake of a verdict by the NGT to give relief to the residents of Sujal Sahakari Gruha Rachana Sansthan Maryadit, near Patwardhan Baug, Karve Nagar from increasing noise pollution by marriage halls and lawns between Mhatre Bridge and Rajaram Bridge.
Speaking about the recent order by NGT to demolish unauthorised lawns and marriage halls on DP Road in Karve Nagar, Advocate Asim Sarode, representing the petitioner, said the main issue raised by the residents was that of noise pollution. But demolition was ordered because that area comes under the green belt.
“The order has given clear responsibilities to various departments to ensure that issues of illegal structures and noise pollution in all identified green zones are addressed. The State Transport Department and the corporations have been asked to start a WhatsApp number and an email id where residents can register their complaints that can be addressed as soon as possible,” said Sarode.
Sarode further added that the NGT has made it mandatory for all marriage halls in green belts to get permission from the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) as problems of noise pollution and garbage disposal are huge in case of marriage halls.
“The Regional Transport Office (RTO) has also been directed to seize vehicles modified to carry large sound systems which cause noise pollution. These vehicles are not to be released without the permission of NGT,” Sarode added.
The NGT directives state the owner of such vehicle will be liable to pay environmental compensation of Rs 50,000 for every such incident of use apart from any further cost as decided by the tribunal.
The NGT directives also state that in case of unauthorised haphazard dumping of the solid waste by the marriage halls or lawns, they will be liable to pay Rs 50,000 as environmental cost per incident to a respective urban local body and the same will be recovered by a respective urban local body.