Chalk out a plan for quieter celebrations for festivals, such as Ganpati, Navratri, Eid and Christmas, the Bombay High Court directed the state government on Thursday.
Implementation of Rules and Acts governing noise pollution cannot be possible without involving the public and local bodies, especially during the festivals, a division bench of Justice Ranjana Desai and Justice R.V. More observed.
The court was hearing a pil filed by Thane resident Dr Mahesh Bedekar who sought that noise pollution norms be strictly implemented, especially in silence zones near hospitals, schools, and religious places.
The court directed the additional chief secretary to constitute a committee comprising Thane municipal commissioner, Thane commissioner of police, registered pandals, petitioner, "respectable" citizens and mohalla committees to chalk out a plan to celebrate festivals without causing noise pollution and inconvenience to the public.
The court also asked the corporation and police to set up guidelines on whom to give permission for setting up pandals. The PIL contended that the corporation randomly gave permission, after police clearance, to erect pandals on roads and footpaths.
Sanjeev Gorwadkar, Dr Bedekar's counsel, argued that during dahi handi celebrations on September 2, there was lot of noise outside his client's hospital, which troubled patients.
Justice Desai observed: "We share the anxiety, but we cannot pass an order saying don't celebrate any festival. You are asking for the moon."
The HC remarked that the only way of implementing rules would be to involve the public and local authorities. The court asked the government to file details affidavit on the deliberations that take in the meeting. "These things should have been ready by now," said Justice Desai.