Citizens' Issues
Frame noise rules for construction activities: HC tells BMC

The High Court also said the authorities should try to strike a balance between implementation of norms and people's sentiments regarding cultural and religious festivals


Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Tuesday asked the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to consider framing noise regulations for residential and building construction activities, reports PTI.

 

A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice NM Jamdar was hearing a bunch of public interest litigations regarding strict implementation of noise pollution rules in silence zones across the city.

 

"We have personally noticed the decibel level is very high during such construction activities. The civic body should consider framing different noise regulations for construction activities," the bench said.

 

Senior counsel SU Kamdar, appearing for the BMC, told the court that presently there is only a time limit imposed on construction activities and the issue of framing of regulations will have to be placed before the Improvement Committee of the civic body.

 

The bench also said it was considering to set up a committee comprising officials from different government departments and the civic body to look into the issue of noise pollution and whether or not permission can be given to an organiser to hold cultural events and what conditions should be imposed.

 

Following numerous applications filed before the court seeking permissions to hold cultural and political rallies in silence zones after the civic body and police deny permission, the court suggested for a committee to be formed which will consider such applications.

 

The court also said the authorities should try to strike a balance between implementation of norms and people's sentiments regarding cultural and religious festivals.

 

After hearing the arguments of all parties involved, the court said it would pass an appropriate order later.

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Bombay HC pulls up BMC for inaction against unauthorised structure

BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) was pulled up by the High Court for not taking action against an unauthorised construction in Prabhadevi area 

 
Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has pulled up BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) for not taking action against an unauthorised construction in Prabhadevi area of the city until they got authority from the city police to proceed in this direction, reports PTI.
 
"We fail to understand as to what prevents the corporation to initiate action against the unauthorised structure without waiting for the approval from the police authority," Justices Mridula Bhatkar and AM Khanvilkar observed.
 
"In our order dated 31st October, we have referred to the grievance of the petitioner that political pressure was being exerted on the officers of the Corporation. Perhaps, that may be the reason for the officers of the Corporation to await approval from the police authorities to initiate further action in respect of the un-authorised structure. This cannot be countenanced," the judges noted.
 
The corporation is obliged to take corrective measures and more so, take the show cause notice dated January 12 to its logical end by not only initiating prosecution against the persons responsible but also take measures for removal of the unauthorised structure and compel the occupant to restore the original position as per the approved plan, the judges said.
 
The corporation is not only obliged to ensure that structure is in consonance with the approved plan but also the user of the premises as per the norms prescribed for premises falling under the residential zone, the court noted.
 
"We hope and trust that the Deputy Commissioner-II, South Ward, shall personally look into the grievance of the petitioner and take all measures as may be necessary including to take show cause notice to its logical end in accordance with law and report compliance in that behalf on or before the next date of hearing of this petition," the bench said.
 
The court was hearing two cross petitions, one filed by Balu Shivgand and the other by Dr Buchirajam Katkam.
 
Balu relied upon a communication issued under the signature of Assistant Commissioner G/South Ward of BMC dated January 12. He prayed that inspite of unauthorised structure and illegality noticed by the corporation, no action had been taken in respect of structures occupied by Katkam.
 
In the backdrop of this grievance, the court had on 31st October asked the BMC to take corrective measures within a week.
 
When the matter came up recently before the court, the Corporation submitted that its officer had filed a complaint in respect of the unauthorised structure against Katkam and after recording of panchnama and consequent to registration of FIR, the officer would proceed in the matter.
 
The court called upon the counsel for the Corporation to point out express provisions under the Act or in the Rules which require this procedure to be followed and more so refrain the officer of the BMC from taking action against unauthorised structure independently.
 
The counsel for the corporation was not been able to point out any such provision in law, except referring to Section 53(6) of the MRTP Act.
 
The court, however, noted that this was not the procedure envisaged under that provision. There are two independent remedies/actions provided and could be invoked by the corporation. One is under section 53(6) of the MRTP Act and other is under Section 351 of the Corporation Act.
 
"As this position is accepted by the counsel for the corporation, we fail to understand as to what prevented the corporation to initiate action against the unauthorised structure without waiting for the approval from the police authority," the judges asked.
 
The second petition was filed by Katkam, as a counter application to the first petition. His argument was that the petitioner in the first petition has already resorted to a civil suit against him. Inspite of it, remedy of writ petition has been invoked by the petitioner, he said.
 
The court noted that this argument clearly over-looks that the remedy resorted to by the petitioner in the first petition by way of civil suit is simpliciter against Katkam and for consequential orders against Mumbai Building and Reconstruction Board. Whereas, writ petition has been filed for direction to the statutory authority to discharge its official duty and more so to take the show cause notice dated January 12 to its logical end.
 
"In that sense, the fact that the petitioner in the first writ petition has invoked remedy of civil suit will not come in the way of the first petitioner in pursuing the remedy of petition which is pending in this court," the court noted.
 
However, Katkam alleged that even the first petitioner had committed illegality and carried out unauthorised construction in the premises occupied by him.
 
"Since we have directed the Deputy Commissioner to look into the matter and take corrective measures in respect of the premises referred to in the show cause notice January 12, we hope and trust that even grievance of the petitioner in the second petition in respect of unauthorised structure put up by the petitioner in the first petition is also examined and appropriate action taken in accordance with law in that respect," the judges noted.
 

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Tripura opposes direct cash transfer scheme

The state government said it is difficult to get new bank accounts within January and also include their Aadhaar (UID) numbers and send it to the Centre as in rural areas banks are inadequate in number

 
Agartala: Tripura has opposed Centre's plan for direct cash transfer to the bank accounts of the customers of fair price shop for giving subsidy on the plea that it would cripple the existing public distribution system (PDS), reports PTI.
 
"I have written a letter to the Union Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution Minister KV Thomas to withdraw the proposal for direct subsidy cash transfer and also clarify in detail how the new system would help the poor," state Food and Civil Supply minister Manik De said.
 
The new system would be introduced in 51 districts of the country and the four districts of Tripura were also included among them.
 
De said the state government has received a communication from the Centre that all the card holders of ration shops should make their bank accounts available for transferring the cash subsidy.
 
"It is difficult to get new bank accounts within January and also include their Aadhaar (UID) numbers and send it to the Centre. In rural areas the banks are inadequate in number. The new system would leave us into inconveniences", he told reporters.
 

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