Mumbai Police to accept data from any noise monitoring app for violation complaints

In a public address on March 12, Pandey also mentioned that he has held meetings with major developers in the city and instructed them to install noise cutters around construction sites by March 31.
The decision to accept complaints from a wider range of popular noise monitoring applications is part of the police’s latest anti-noise pollution campaign (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
The decision to accept complaints from a wider range of popular noise monitoring applications is part of the police’s latest anti-noise pollution campaign (Rahul Raut/HT PHOTO)
Published on Mar 15, 2022 06:56 PM IST
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ByPrayag Arora-Desai

Mumbai: As part of a newly launched campaign to tackle noise pollution in the city, the Mumbai Police will now accept violation complaints based on data from any freely available noise monitoring application. Until now, only readings from the official National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI) mobile app were accepted by the police.

“Citizens can download any free noise meter, take a reading of the decibel level on their phone, and send it to the local police Twitter account or lodge a complaint on 100. Action will be taken against offenders and noise rules for construction sites will be enforced,” said Commissioner of Police Sanjay Pandey, who has taken a strong stand against noise pollution since assuming office two weeks ago.

In a public address on March 12, Pandey also mentioned that he has held meetings with major developers in the city and instructed them to install noise cutters around construction sites by March 31.

The decision to accept complaints from a wider range of popular noise monitoring applications is part of the police’s latest anti-noise pollution campaign -- ‘Raise Your Awaaz Against Noise’ -- launched in collaboration with city-based NGO Awaaz Foundation.

Sumaira Abdulali, the convener of Awaaz Foundation, explained that the goal of this campaign is to inform citizens about where and how they can file complaints relating to excess noise.

“Most people who approach us with such complaints don’t know whom to approach officially. But the Bombay High Court has clearly stated that action is to be taken by the police wherever the decibel level exceeds 10dB of the prescribed limit, that is beyond 65dB in the day-time and 55dB in the night. The police commissioner’s interest in tackling this widespread problem has potential to alleviate the suffering of millions of Mumbaikars who live next to construction sites and have been asked, until now, to bear with the noise despite the adverse health impacts,” Abdulali said.

Abdulali pointed out that a concerted effort from law enforcement is all the more essential today, with amendments to the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) rules allowing more buildings in the city to be redeveloped.

As per an estimate by real estate research firm Liases Foras, around 10,000 old buildings, in addition to large pockets of informal housing, will become susceptible to redevelopment under the CRZ Notification, 2019.

“In 2016, the BMC rules were amended to allow construction from 6 am to 10 pm, an increase of four hours. Where public infrastructure is being built like Metro and Coastal Road, construction is permitted throughout the night. It is important the police step in to enforce the Centre’s Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules so that these projects do not continue to outsource the cost of noise management to citizens, who end up paying with their peace of mind,” Abdulali added.

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