The Karnataka High Court on Friday pulled up the state government for its failure to comply with the court’s previous order to curb noise pollution across Bengaluru.
A divisional bench of Chief Justice Abhay S Oka and Mohammed Nawaz was were hearing a PIL filed by an amalgamation of various groups from Indiranagar. According to Deccan Herald, the bench insisted that the advocate general explain the reason for the delay in the next hearing, slated to be held on September 13.
“We had given several directions during the hearing on July 23, including categorising silence zones and installation of a device to measure noise pollution. Despite this, the government has shown its negligence and it will not be tolerated,” the DH report quoted the judges as saying.
The court said that the government was “dilly-dallying about” in implementing the regulations on noise pollution, which were introduced 19 years ago. The bench noted that the Karnataka government had failed to declare ‘silence zones’ as per the noise pollution regulations that were introduced in 2000, TNIE reported.
The High Court also issued directions to the state government to implement the rules immediately and to also take measures to identify and notify silent areas or silent zones as per the noise pollution rules. According to the 2000 rules, the Karnataka government had to have identified residential, industrial and commercial or silent areas and apply noise pollution rules accordingly.
“Even after 19 years, the state has failed to implement the noise rules despite the court issued directions repeatedly. Therefore, it is appropriate to direct the Advocate General to assist the court,” TNIE quoted the judges as saying.
In addition, the court also directed the Bengaluru police to continue surprise checks on bars and pbs in Indiranagar that are violating noise pollution rules. The court also directed the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board to also keep a check on pubs and bars violating norms.
According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the onus is on every state government to take measure to abate noise pollution by ensuring that noise levels do not exceed the ambient air quality standards specified under these rules. The rules state that peripheral noise level of a privately-owned sound system should not, at the boundary of the private place, exceed by more than 5 decibels. The petition filed by the groups from Indiranagar stated that these rules were being violated by the restaurants, pubs and bars.