Police have warned the residents of Kholapur saying that strict actions will be taken against those using high-decibel music systems and violating the norms that are set for controlling the noise pollution during Ganesh festival next month.
To ensure the festival is celebrated peacefully the department has already initiated various actions. The police have already started conducting meetings with the pooja committee members facing action during the festival and other programmes last year. Data has already been gathered about those members who faced legal actions last year for breaking the rules as they were found using high-decibel sound systems which was strictly prohibited.
Police have filed cases against 87 pandals, during the function of idol immersion procession, Ambedkar Jayanti, Shiv Jayanti and also during marriage ceremonies a lot of noise is created. Over 110 activists belonging to these pandals were booked for breaking the rules and the police has submitted multiple charge sheets against them at respective courts, where the hearings are currently on going.
Cases have been filed under various sections of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) including 188, 240, 291 and 34 as well as sections 131, 134, 135 and 140 of the Bombay Police Act 1952. Apart from this they were also booked under section 15 of Enviroment Protection Act, 1986 and sections 3(1), 4(1) and 5(4) of Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control), Rules, 2000.
Vishwas Nangre Patil who is special inspector general has directed all the police staff from Kolhapur Range to take strict actions against those violating the norms set against noise pollution. We have already informed all the members of the pandal community about the set norms to curb the noise pollution and have requested them to abide by them. We have asked the pandal members not to use high-decibel sound systems. Police inspectors from across the district have already started working on this issue. Police superintendent Pradeep Deshpande said we will take strict action against those violating prescribed noise-level norms.
Police officials said some of the pandal community members came forward last year and gave in writing that they will not use high –decibel sound systems. However few of them broke their promise by using music systems during idol immersion. The police however said they will take precautions to ensure this dosen’t happen this year.