Panvel needs complaint redressal cell for pollution complaints: Residents

Even as the city witnessed a quiet Diwali celebration this year, residents have highlighted the need to have a complaint redressal mechanism.

Regional MPCB officer Anant Harshvardhan said, “The city witnessed quieter Diwali celebration this year. The noise decibel level was within permissible limit of 55 decibel in Panvel except few violations on Diwali night.”

Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC) does not have a dedicated pollution control department hence it becomes difficult for people to complain about noise or air pollution.

“I wanted to complain about the increased noise level at silence zone around MGM hospital at Kalamboli but no one answered the phone at PCMC office,” said Ravindra Gawde, 49, a resident of Kalamboli.

The police officers too did not get any complaint regarding any violation this year. The civic body forwards the noise related complaint to the police to act on it but this year the police officials received no complaint from civic body.

Pankaj Dahane, deputy commissioner of police zone 1 said, “We got few direct calls from residents regarding cracker bursting on road and violation of noise decibels in silence zone. We didn’t get any forwarded complaint.”

“It is difficult to complain about noise pollution to the civic body as nobody responds. We usually call the cops or Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB),” said Ajeet Nair, 47, a Nerul resident.

Anti-noise activist Ajay Marathe said, “The civic body needs to have better complaint redressal mechanism. It needs to monitor noise levels and take corrective measures.”

“Whether it is Ganpati or Navratri festival, there is no record of noise level. During Ganpati, music is loud but the civic body has not taken any measures to compile data,” he said.

Sanjay Shinde, deputy municipal commissioner of PCMC, said they would be able to keep tabs on air and noise pollution in 2020.

“The machines will be installed in January. Based on the database, we aim to take measures,” he added.

Many nodes under PCMC have complained about air and noise pollution and had even urged the civic body to solve the issue.

“We have approached the civic body about the increasing pollution problem but till now they have not come up any solution.” said Pritama Das, 34, a Kharghar resident.

“PCMC is more than two years old and it is about time they have all departments in place to deal with the issues,” said Das.

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