PANJIM: Despite High Court directives in place to penalise violations of sound pollution norms, Noise levels reached a disturbing peak way beyond midnight, on Diwali eve.
The recent verdict of the Supreme Court on bursting of firecrackers and the High Court order to restrict sound pollution has brought no relief to the people.
Residents who were at the receiving end due to blaring deafening tunes late Saturday night, have now taken to social media to express their disgust over the failure of the authorities to curb the blaring music and the bursting of fireworks well beyond midnight, while Narkasur effigies is burnt.
Shockingly, the Chairman of the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB), Mahesh Patil confirmed to O Heraldo that “Monitoring equipment has been given to all the police stations by the Environment Department. It has been given to monitor noise level. Now noise level can be monitored online as well. The Collector gives noise permission. The monitoring, seizing or registering offence is done by the police.”
The question is sound monitoring equipment has been given to all police stations, was the equipment not used on Diwali eve?
In the past, authorities were found turning a deaf ear to the rampant violations as the sound levels crossed the stipulated levels.
The GSPCB had sent copies of the Supreme Court order to both the District Collectors and the Goa Police, who have been asked to keep a strict vigil on loud music played during the midnight and restrictions on the use of firecrackers.
“Noise is normally controlled by the District Collector and Police. We have very little role except monitoring. For noise, the standard procedure is the same. Whenever there is a violation, the police have to act,” Patil said.
People have taken to social media to express their angst and anger. Restaurateur Sapna Sardessai’s post had a lot of replies with people from all walks of life commenting on it.
Sardessai wrote, “The Narkasur worshippers lose the plot a lil more, year upon year. Drinking, speeding, splurging, blaring nonsensical music, taking selfies with the Narkasur...something is not quite right, no.?
Some of the responses were: Paresh Pai: “Absolutely Sapna. It’s becoming worse every year.”
Roheet Hede said, “Narkasur looks docile in front of the local asurs on beer.”
Sunila Muzawar: “Absolutely right!!! It's mostly paid for by the local MLA in Panjim and Taleigao. And when did Narkasur become about drinking cheap Soro? Suddenly our youngsters are becoming Narkasur instead of emulating Krishna. Those were the days when Narkasur was a huge amount of fun for children when a month before Diwali, they would build the Narkasur with hay. Crackers would be put inside.”
Lalita Kakodkar, 'While the craft is getting more spectacular by the year, the noise is only getting worse.''
Laxman Parab said, “Rightly said. The people ask money, dadagiri with Narkasur. Unfortunately the enforcing authorities are not taking action.”
Daniel Dsouza Every festival in Goa...had lost its charm…it’s a total disaster… the 70's up to the 2000s I call the golden days of actual Goa…”