JP Dange, the newly appointed state chief secretary may have to face punishment imposed by the Bombay high court if his sub-ordinates fail to file an affidavit explaining steps taken by the government to curb noise pollution.
The high court rapped the government and concerned departments on Thursday for failing to comply with its orders of filing an affidavit on joint efforts/steps taken by them.
“Ask the secretary (environment) to remain present in court on next hearing and if the affidavit is not filed before the next hearing on Thursday, we will ask the chief secretary to stand in the court for the whole day,” remarked chief justice.
Two weeks ago, the division bench of Chief Justice Swatanter Kumar and Justice A.M. Khanwilkar had directed the secretaries of environment, Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), BMC and home departments to file a joint affidavit.
As per the court’s directions, the chief secretary held a joint meeting. However, the chief secretary failed to file the affidavit in court since the secretary of the environment department was out of city.
On the last occasion, the high court had also specifically directed the MPCB to measure decibel levels during helicopter take offs and landing.
According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2001, the noise level cannot exceed 50 decibels during daytime and 40 decibels during nighttime in residential areas.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by NGO Awaaz Foundation and activist Sumaira Abdulali.