If you are planning a wedding, add another item to tick off your check list — permissions from the state pollution board.
Wedding halls or lawns across Maharashtra cannot use loudspeakers or burst firecrackers without a specific written permission from either the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) or the police.
“The transport and police authority shall ensure sound systems are not used in silence zones,” a notification issued by the MPCB last week and released on their website on Tuesday reads.
Waste segregation on the premises into dry and wet (organic) was among the several instructions to owners of wedding lawns and halls — a move that comes after a National Green Tribunal (NGT) order on July 3 that directed the state pollution board to regulate activities at wedding premises under environmental guidelines.
“In case of unauthorised, haphazard dumping by wedding halls/lawns, they will be liable to pay Rs50,000 as an environmental cost, per incident to their respective civic body,” the notification read.
According to the notification, wedding halls and lawns need to apply for consent under environmental laws, including the Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1974 and Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act, 1981 to the regional officer, MPCB.
READ: Govt may check noise at weddings, install sound-level meters
The NGT directions came after an application filed by Pune residents against the Pune civic chief, under another, original application and petition by Thane resident Dr Mahesh Bedekar’s against the state regarding noise pollution.
“Owners of marriage halls and lawns shall be responsible for compliance of all directions passed herein and shall be liable for legal action including prosecution by competent authority in case of non-compliance,” the NGT Pune bench of Justice UD Salvi and expert member Dr Ajay Deshpande said.
“As a society we have to think, whether during festivals, weddings or any other celebrations, we cannot disturb others. The NGT order and swift implementation in the form of a notification by the pollution board highlights environmental issues being faced across the state when it comes to weddings, especially in cities like Mumbai and Pune,” said Dr Bedekar.
“Earlier on, there was no control or restrictions for wedding celebrations. A number of pollution problems have been observed after wedding celebrations. This notification, as deemed by the green tribunal, will exercise restraint and ensure that littering, noise, air and water pollution is kept to a minimum,” said Satish Gavai, additional chief secretary, state environment department.[“Source-hindustantimes”]