After being pulled up by the Bombay high court for having a ‘casual approach’ towards noise pollution, the Maharashtra school education department has asked schools to take up the mantle of sensitising students about noise pollution and submit a report on it.
In a government resolution (GR) issued on Tuesday, the department states that the environment department wants strict enforcement of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000 and the latest order of the HC.
“As directed by the apex court, the state shall issue necessary directions for holding such public awareness programmes especially in schools and colleges,” reads the order quoted in the GR.
The GR suggests that schools must create awareness among students through innovative activities such as poster making, drawing, essay writing or hold rallies to change the mindsets. “Controlling noise pollution is essential and a challenge. It is essential to make children aware about the ill effects of noise pollution especially bursting firecrackers,” said Suvarna Kharat, undersecretary, school education department.
But activists said the focus should be on educating adults, as students have already been sensitised. “Something needs to be done to bring a change in the attitude of adults,” said Vinodini Lulla, director, Children’s Movement of Civic Awareness (CMCA).
Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation, an NGO which works against noise pollution said such steps ought to have been taken long ago. “We are the only city in the country to see a reduction in crackers during Diwali but now the efforts need to be directed towards curbing other contributors to noise pollution,” she said.