‘Need stricter rules on honking, pandals, construction sites’: Bombay High Court
While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Awaaz Foundation, a bench of justices Abhay Oka and MS Sanklecha had on April 25 directed the state to consider and implement the suggestions on honking, pandals and construction sites to reduce violation of noise norms.Updated: May 02, 2019, 06:45 IST
Awareness of honking laws, setting up noise-reducing panels at construction sites, seizing noisy horns are some of the suggestions which the Bombay high court (HC) wants the state and civic body to implement to curb violation of noise norms in the city. These suggestions were submitted by Awaaz Foundation to the HC through advocate Ishwar Nankhani.
While hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Awaaz Foundation, a bench of justices Abhay Oka and MS Sanklecha had on April 25 directed the state to consider and implement the suggestions on honking, pandals and construction sites to reduce violation of noise norms.
Attributing noise from vehicular traffic to honking, the petitioner suggested heavy fines be levied for incessant honking and noisy horns should be seized. The suggestions also state that the Regional Transport Office (RTO) should not issue registration certificates to vehicles with broken engines or silencers; joint drives, along the lines of pollution-under-control drives, be conducted by the traffic and police departments to remove high decibel horns; licence applicants be trained about honking norms; heavy fines be levied for bike races at night and for flouting of norms.
With regard to noise at construction sites, the suggestions state that timing of construction activities should be regulated and use of pre-cut materials be encouraged. Noisy activities such as cutting, loading and unloading should be done indoors and acoustic noise barriers, which help reduce noise levels by 15-17 decibels, be installed around the sites.
Suggestions regarding curbing illegal pandals and putting up of temporary booths on the road include setting a time-frame for application for permission; noting applicant details; verification of past records of the applicant; and sensitisation programmes for police and civic officials on laws relating to noise and pandals. The suggestions also state measures to tackle dismantling and clearing of solid waste from pandal sites.
According to a lawyer working on the case, if these suggestions are implemented in the right spirit by the state and civic body, flouting of noise regulations “are bound to come down considerably, along with instances of setting up of illegal pandals”.