Suspend officials of Pollution Control Board who abuse the Anti-pollution Laws during Hindu Festivals

  • Demand by Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) lodged with the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board

  • Dr VM Motghare, Joint Director of Air Pollution Control Board (a unit of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board) assures to provide answers in writing

Mr Abhishek Murkute (1) and Mr Rohidas Shedge (2) of HJS giving the memorandum to the Dr VM Motghare Joint Director of Air Pollution Control Board

Mumbai : Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) placed a demand before Dr VM Motghare, the Joint Director of Air Pollution Control Board, wing of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board, to suspend officials of the Pollution Control Board who are abusing the ‘Anti-pollution Laws’ during Hindu Festivals. Mr Abhishek Murkute and Mr Rohidas Shedge of HJS met Dr Motghare in his office at Sion. After studying the memorandum Dr Motghare assured of replying in writing within 15 days.

Demands presented in the memorandum 

1. Mosques are responsible for noise pollution 365 days a year. Surveys on noise pollution is conducted during Diwali, similar surveys must be conducted during Bakrid, Muharram and festivals of other faiths as well. The Board should prepare and publish detailed reports (on the pollution the occurs during such festivals) on the Pollution Control Board’s website.

2. RTI inquiries have revealed that Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board has filed 230 cases during Hindu festivals like Dahi-handi, Ganeshotsvav and Navratrotsav and 22 on Muslims during 7 years (from 2015 to 2021).

Many such examples are cited in the representation. From that it is evident how the Maharashtra State Pollution Control Board making use of the Anti-pollution Act with bias against Hindus.

Appellate Officer (Law) Adv Netra Chaphekar’s statement

More cases against Hindus, since Hindu festivals are more in number (!)

Mr Abhishek Murkute and Mr Rohidas Shedge of HJS held a discussion with the Joint Director Dr VM Motghare about the action taken by Pollution Control Board. Law Officer Adv Netra Chaphekar, Sub-regional Officer Mr JS Hazare, and Mr Sachin Borade, Inspector, Sion Police Station were.

1. When the Samiti’s representatives said that a disproportionately large number of Hindu festivals had been targeted for action by the Board, Dr Motghare said that they take action when they receive complaints.

2. Pollution Board notes down the noise levels with decibel measuring devices by visiting venues of Hindu festivals. These figures are then published on the website. Samiti’s representatives commented that similar action is not visible regarding the loudspeakers on mosques which are on for 365 days of year. This makes one suspect if the board is acting with bias. Adv Netra Chaphekar said, “We have no religious bias. We take action when we receive complaints. More cases are filed against Hindus because of Hindu festivals are frequent compared to those of other faiths”. She also said that, as per the order of the Supreme Court loudspeakers are not allowed at 5 a.m. Violation of such an order would be contempt of the Supreme Court.

State wide agitation if demands are not fulfilled

The HJS representatives finally said that if the demands in the representation were not accepted then Public festival committees, Hindu organisations would take to streets and stage State wide agitation.

Editorial perspective

  • Why do Hindus need to demand this ? Doesn’t the ‘Maharashtra Pollution Control Board’ realise this on its own ?
  • Adv Netra Chaphekar is painting a unrealistic picture. Are Hindus getting a lions share of the projects since they are in majority ? Why does not the Government  implement this rule ? Hindus are smart enough to recognise when someone is trying to own up to their faults.

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