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District collectors in Maharashtra to select 15 days in a year when loudspeakers can be used from 10pm to midnight

Until now, the state was reserved the right to select the 15 days

mumbai Updated: Aug 17, 2017 15:09 IST
Badri Chatterjee
Badri Chatterjee
Hindustan Times
Maharashtra,district collectors,noise norms

Now, every district in the state can set aside the different days in a a year when noise rules will be relaxed to allow loudspeakers to be used till midnight.

After noise rules were amended by the union environment ministry on August 10, the state government will direct district collectors to allocate 15 days in a year to relax noise norms from 10pm to 12am.

Until now, the state was reserved the right to select the 15 days. According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, under the Environment Protection Act, 1986, loudspeakers or public address systems are banned from 10pm to 6am, and the state government could extend the time limit up to midnight for 15 days, mostly national holidays and important festivals.

A government resolution (GR) will be issued within this week, said officials .

“Every district has different days for celebrating festivals. For example, immersion days during Ganeshotsav or Durga Puja is different across districts. Hence, there cannot be one uniform day for the entire state. Our contention was, rather than treating the state as a unit, treat the district as a unit,” said Satish Gavai, additional chief secretary, state environment department.

This year, the days when noise norms would be relaxed during Ganeshotsav are August 26, August 29, August 31, September 4 and September 5.

“These dates will now be subject to change for different districts, once the GR is issued by us,” he said. Gavai added that the GR is likely to be notified before Ganeshotsav.

“For this year, collectors can allocate 15 days minus the number of days that have already been allocated uptill the date of notification for noise relaxation. From the next calendar year, district collectors will have powers to decide all 15 days. However, this is still subject to permissions from the government when it comes to national or public holidays,” said Gavai.

On August 10, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) amended the existing noise rules as Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2017, which included that the silence zones would be notified by the state government, and the existing zones identified by municipal corporations stood null and void. The other amendment allowed the state or district authority to specify in advance, the days on which noise exemptions should be operative.


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First Published: Aug 17, 2017 01:14 IST