#NGT, #CPCB, #MPCB
The western region bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) here has aired its displeasure over the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) failure to submit a report on how the sound pollution level of sirens and noise generated by vehicles is measured.
The tribunal was hearing a petition by activistDileepNevatia that seeks compliance of a July 31, 2014, notification by the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB), prescribing standards for multi-toned horns and sirens, and ban those which breach noise standards.
The bench of Justice Jawad Rahim and expert member Ajay A Deshpande observed on May 16, “The CPCB not only has a statutory duty, but was reminded of it by our several orders in the matter relating to sound pollution consequent to use of sirens and horns by vehicles.”
On March 21, the tribunal had held a consultative meeting involving authorities from state transport, police, pollution control board and other departments. “Much was discussed at this consultative meeting, and in view of certain orders passed by the high court, the issue was confined to siren and noise generated by vehicles,” the bench observed.
“The transport department had furnished certain material information about vehicles using sirens but we found that the methodology to examine the level of the sound was not indicated anywhere,” the bench said.
Considering this, the bench had directed the CPCB to file a detailed report after consulting experts in the field and with available material information and equipment with the transport department, as to how sound pollution level could be measured. “Till date that report has not been filed, though we had granted time of two weeks as was asked for on April 18,” the bench observed.
Following an assurance by the lawyer representing the CPCB that the report will be filed within a reasonable extension granted, the tribunal posted the next hearing for May 30 and granted a week’s time to CPCB. to furnish the report. Pune regional transport officer (RTO)JitendraPatiland deputy RTO Sanjay Raut were present at the hearing.
Nevatia, who is representing his case in person before the tribunal, has argued that MPCB’s notification of July 31, 2014, was issued in pursuance of the directions passed by NGT and was finalised after inviting suggestions and objections and due deliberations
The notification has named various authorities as responsible for implementation of these standards. They include the departments of transport, home, urban development, revenue and forest, district collectors, district forest officers, municipal commissioners and chief officers of municipal councils for their respective jurisdictions and powers. He argued that despite specific directives in the notification, these standards were not being implemented and the authorities were mere spectators of what was happening at ground level.
At a previous hearing, the transport department had submitted an action plan claiming that it had informed manufacturers of vehicles, testing agencies, registering authorities in the state, the police, revenue and health departments about the need to comply with the standards as notified by the MPCB.