The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) and the Delhi Pollution Control Committee ( DPCC) to find out if mosques in East Delhi were causing noise pollution.
The tribunal passed the order on an application filed by a right wing NGO, Akhand Bharat Morcha, which had claimed that seven mosques at different locations across East Delhi were using loudspeakers that were causing noise much above the prescribed decibels.
The application alleged that this noise pollution was in violation of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 and the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000 framed under it even as the government agencies were doing nothing to control it.
“Seven mosques scattered across different localities in East Delhi were causing noise pollution. Some of these mosques have either schools or hospitals near them,” Rahul Raj Malik, counsel for the petitioner, said.
The petitioner organization had first approached the tribunal on the issue in 2016. The environment court, while disposing of the application on September 19, 2017, recorded the undertakings of the Delhi Government and SPCC that they would inspect the various mosques stated in the petition and take action against them if their air quality and noise levels were found to be exceeding the prescribed decibels.
Raising inaction on part of authorities in pursuance of the NGT order, the NGO preferred an appeal to the Supreme Court, which, on May 4, asked it to go back to the tribunal for compliance of the latter’s directions.
A bench of Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel, Justice Jawad Rahim, Justice S.P. Wangdi and Expert Member, Dr. Nagin Nanda, while disposing of the application, said, “In view of the above, we direct the Deputy Commissioner of Police East to take steps for compliance of order of this Tribunal, dated 19.09.2017.”
“We also direct the Central Pollution Control Board and DPCC to conduct a joint inspection on random basis at intervals to ascertain whether there is violation of law and if so, to take penal action in terms of the legal provisions. CPCB will be the nodal agency,” read the order, passed on August 10.
The CPCB has been given two months time to file the compliance report before the tribunal, which would deal with it on February 6, 2019.
Read the Order Here