HC slams authorities for failing to monitor noise pollution

Authorities directed to check for permissions as petition cites 15 adverts of parties in December


The Bombay High Court at Goa has pulled up the authorities for a lack of monitoring of sound pollution rules especially against commercial establishments along the coast which have advertised parties that will go on until the wee hours of the following morning. 

Hearing a contempt petition filed by one Sagardeep Sirsaikar of Siolim and one Arnold D’Sa the High Court observed that “the Authorities are not taking serious actions, thereby resulting in breach of the Rules by such parties/entities.” 

“From the advertisements, it is obvious that such events/shows are held commercially. Although the Authorities are duty bound to take actions against the violators, no such actions are forthcoming,” the High Court observed. 

“The Authorities must expedite the issue of sanction and acquisition of these equipment because it is noticed that the violations of the Noise Pollution Rules are at their peak during months of November, December and January. There is no point in locking the stables after the horses have bolted,” the High Court also said. 

During the hearing, Aldona MLA Adv Carlos Alvares Ferreira who represented the petitioner, placed before the High Court a bunch of fifteen advertisements announcing parties during the month of December, and expressed the apprehension that they will blatantly violate the sound pollution norms. 

These advertisements are about music shows or programmes held outdoors, including in the coastal areas of Anjuna, Vagator, Chapora, Arambol, Morjim, Mandrem, etc. These advertisements state that such shows are held either 8 pm onwards or 7 pm onwards and so on. There are some advertisements which referred to such shows being held even from 10 pm onwards. 

The advocate told the court that some events have already taken place in open, where loud music was played outdoors beyond 10 pm and that despite complaints no action is forthcoming from the Authorities who are duty bound to take such actions.

“The authorities are duty bound to ensure that no such music is played outdoors beyond 10 pm. Accordingly, we direct the officials from the GSPCB, concerned Deputy Collectors and SDPOs (Sub Divisional Police Officers) to firstly verify whether any 

permissions are at all granted to the above 15 organisers to hold such shows/events outdoors and, if so, to ensure that under no circumstances they continue with such events/shows beyond 10 pm. If no permissions are granted, then such shows/events must be stopped,” the High Court said.  

The Court however clarified that if they have the permissions the party can continue, but under no circumstances, any sound amplifying systems should be used or employed after 10 pm outdoors. We further clarify that these directions are in respect of outdoors shows/events because these restrictions will apply to playing of music or other sounds outdoors. 

“Apart from the above 15 instances, the authorities must take cognizance of similar advertisements and similar shows/events in the entire state of Goa. If the petitioners have any information about such shows/events, they are permitted to forward such information, in writing, preferably by emails to the Superintendent of Police, North Goa and South Goa, respectively. Similarly, copies of such communications should be addressed to the GSPCB officials by emails. The authorities should take cognizance of such information and take strict measures to ensure that the Noise Pollution Rules are not breached by any parties/entities,” the High Court also said. 

The matter will be heard next on December 14.

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