The Karnataka High Court on Wednesday asked the government to give it a timeframe by August 13 to complete the categorisation process of areas with respect to noise levels including silent zones in the state.
The bench led by Chief Justice AS Oka passed the direction noting that the state government in the last 19 years has not exercised its power under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.
These observations came as the HC was hearing a case filed by the Defence Colony Residentsâ€™ Association and other resident welfare groups from Indiranagar, alleging large scale violation with regard to sound pollution by pubs and bars in their neighbourhoods.
During the course of hearing, it came to light that the police do not have noise meters or any other device to check noise levels. However, the advocate representing the RWAs contended that after the case came to court, there has been a drop in noise levels due to surprise checks conducted by the police. The court contended that the police continue these checks.
The court was further told that a four-digit toll free number will be made available to report noise pollution anonymously.
Additionally, the counsel for BBMP told the court that the civic body has also started issuing notices to establishments causing noise pollution.
This came up after the same bench had pulled up Bengaluru police last month over their 'casual approach' to inspecting pubs in the Indiranagar area for noise levels. This, after police had filed a report to the court regarding the sound levels of these establishments, which the court described as â€śnothing but an eyewashâ€ť. The court also asked if it should summon the city Police Commissioner on the issue.
â€śNot a bona fide approach at all. If this is the approach of the police, then we will direct the Police Commissioner to personally appear before the court ...,â€ť the court had said.