Prod to PMC over noise pollution inaction

The Pune Municipal Corporation is in a tight spot over complying with various directives of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) bench here to check the noise pollution caused by business establishments in a commercial complex in Aundh.

The tribunal had issued the directives in a judgment on January 27, 2015, while disposing of a plea of the Wireless Colony Housing Cooperative, a society of 66 independent bungalows and twin-houses. The petitioned complained about outdoor noise pollution caused by officesestablishments in the complex and the resultant health hazards posing threat to their members.

The tribunal then directed Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC) to ensure that the officestrade establishments carry out noise abatement measures (see box) within six months and, in case of failure, act against them without waiting for the tribunal’s direction. Such action was also a part of the PMC’s statutory duty, it said.

Eighteen months after the judgment, the society members have moved the tribunal again for the execution of the January 27, 2015 order, stating that the directives had not been complied with and they still suffered because of noise pollution and the PMC’s failure to enforce the directives.

The NGT bench of Justi ce Jawad Rahim and expert member Ajay A Deshpande has now directed the PMC to file a detailed statement explaining, among other things, the extent of compliance done and, if not, why action was not taken against those officesestablishments causing noise pollution. The statement has to be filed by August 19, when the matter has been posted for next hearing.

The project developer, along with five officesestablishments of prominent information technology and business firms, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board and the state environment department have been named respondents in the matter apart from PMC.Most of them have filed their affidavit and responses related to the execution plea.

In an order following a hearing of the plea on July 29, the bench observed that the affidavit filed by PMC did refer to the action taken by the civic body, but was bereft of material information. “We find it difficult to know what has been done and what is still to be done,“ the bench said.

The bench said the PMC’s upcoming statement must specify the present situation of noise levels around the complex, based on a scientific assessment, and the steps taken to enforce the judgment. The corporation must also explain why it failed to take action in case of default by the respondent officesestablishments. PMC could seek assistance from the MPCB for scientific assessment of noise levels, it said.

Source : TOI