How many times have the residents of Mumbai spoken against the excessive noise and revelry during the festive season? Most people living in the city have complained about the deafening drums and traffic for almost every festival.
Now, the Bombay High Court seems to concur with the average Mumbaikar, saying what many of us think when there's a loudspeaker blaring post midnight.
"No religion says that festivals are to be celebrated by obstructing roads or in breach of law by causing nuisance and annoyance to a large number of citizens," observed a division bench of Justice Abhay Oka and Justice Vijay Achliya, according to a report by The Times of India.
The court also censured the Maharashtra government and Mumbai municipal corporation for not being able to contain the loud celebrations and illegal pandals during Ganesh Chaturthi. It directed authorities to be more vigilant during the upcoming festive season with Dussehra in October and Diwali in November, says the report.
The bench was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) about the construction of illegal pandals and ignoring of noise pollution norms during festivals, says an Indian Express report.
The court also went on to say that pandals that do not comply with the rules should be denied permission, says a Hindustan Times report.
Another observation of the court was the complete lack of action by the authorities against pandals and other organisations that flout the rules during celebrations. It questioned why no cases have been registered so far.
"There is complete failure on part of the state authorities to take action against noise pollution, here is not a single case of noise pollution where criminal law is set in motion," Hindustan Times quoted the judges as saying.
The bench observed that during an earlier hearing it had asked all municipal corporations to place on record the names and addresses of mandals if prominent leaders are associated with them but no corporation did so.
“No one had disclosed names of political leaders involved. None of them have approached the charity commission to get names. While we get the constraint faced by municipal corporation, no such constraint can come in the way of implementation of law,” quoted the Indian Express report.
With the onset of Navratri and the beginning of the busiest festive time of the year, it remains to be seen how effectively the new orders of the Bombay High Court will be implemented. However, one hopes that these guidelines will help make festivals more meaningful and less inconvenient.
Updated Date: Oct 13, 2015 13:57:45 IST