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The Bombay High Court today came down heavily on the Maharashtra government for not obeying its orders on procuring meters to measure noise decibel levels during festivals, processions and other events, saying it was a "complete failure" on its part.
In response to a contempt notice issued by the high court for non compliance of its orders to procure noise meters, Additional Chief Secretary (Home) K P Bakshi today appeared in person before the court.
A division bench headed by Justice A S Oka had in January asked the state's Home department to procure 1,843 decibel meters and provide these to all police stations in the state, in compliance with the provisions of noise pollution rules.
The bench was today informed that the government has not taken any steps to comply with its January order.
"There is complete failure on the part of the state government to comply with directions relating to procurement of the decibel meters," Justice Oka said.
The bench today asked the government on what basis it had made a statement earlier in the high court that it would procure noise metres.
"It is a complete breach of HC orders," the bench said.
The court deferred the matter to October 20 for further hearing after observing that "the approach of state government in committing breach of high court orders is not proper".
During the last hearing, an NGO had offered to provide noise level meters to the government but the state had said that it would procure the noise level meters on its own.
The high court today said the state had failed to procure noise level metres on its own and asked whether it was ready to buy these meters from NGOs.
The court was hearing a bunch of PILs seeking implementation of noise pollution rules and regulations.
While hearing the petitions, the bench today emphasised that nobody, including the petitioners', intervenors and respondent parties, should bring religion into the issue.
"Loudspeakers are there everywhere. This court has in its earlier orders also made it clear that the orders passed by us apply to all citizens irrespective of their religious affiliations," Justice Oka said.