Days after a right to information (RTI) reply revealed that the Andheri and MIDC police were unaware of the night time restrictions regarding noise pollution, the Mumbai police have said that officers will be trained about the basics of the noise pollution Act before this year’s festive season.
Officials from the Mumbai police told HT that constables and police inspectors from all stations across the city would be sensitised over the next two months.
“Senior police personnel who are aware of noise rules will train junior officers to monitor noise levels using sound metres. The training will also include understanding different sources of noise pollution during festivals such as loudspeakers, drums, dhols, etc, identifying their average decibel levels and comparing it with permissible limits,” said Dhananjay Kulkarni, spokesperson and deputy commissioner of police (crime).
Kulkarni added that officers would be directed to file a panchnama during festivals like Dahi Handi, Ganesh Chaturthi, Diwali, Eid and during the Christmas Mass.
The move comes in the wake of a Mumbai-based NGO, Watchdog Foundation, filed the RTI to two Andheri police stations last month, enquiring about relaxed timelines during the festival season, mandated in the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.
Both the police stations had replied to the RTI earlier this week stating that they were unaware about any such timelines. “The authorities should know the law of the land and that information is lacking,” said Godfrey Pimenta, trustee, Watchdog Foundation.
In January this year, the Bombay high court was informed that the state had a total of 494 decibel metres. The HC directed the Maharashtra government to procure 1,843 decibel metres for the police to ensure no violations of noise rules during festivals, public addresses and processions.
Environmental activists welcomed the steps taken by the Mumbai police but were sceptical about the actual implementation. “Police training has been lacking when it comes to taking action for noise pollution complaints. It is useless if the police do not know how to use the decibel metres ordered by the court,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation, adding, “We will be there to check whether noise rules are implemented and whether the training programme has worked.”