News : 24-hr Pollution Helpline on Cards
Mumbai, India, Nov 3, 2017 -- The BMC told Bombay high court that it was planning to set up a new 24-hour toll-free number for citizens to complain about noise pollution in Mumbai.
"The BMC is taking all necessary steps to receive and attend complaints regarding noise pollution and all necessary steps will be taken to ensure that the complaints received are promptly attended to," said deputy municipal commissioner (zone 3) Anand Wagaralkar in an affidavit filed in court.
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The officer said that BMC has requested MTNL to allot a special number 1800223467 exclusively to receive citizens' complaints about noise pollution. The BMC told the court that it has "provided a mobile number 9920760525 for complaints by SMS and Whatsapp and email email@example.com to lodge complaints and noise pollution which is also attended 24x7".
At present noise complaints are received on telephone numbers that are set up to receive civic and illegal structure complaints - 1916, 1292 and 1293. The numbers can however only be reached from MTNL landlines and mobile numbers.
The court was hearing a PIL public interest litiagtions filed by NGO Awaaz Foundation for action against noise pollution. The high court in August 2016 had issued directions to curb noise pollution.The NGO had told the court that its complaints to the BMC numbers had not yielded any action. The corporation said that the numbers were being managed by a contractor and it had not issued instructions to its staff about handling noise complaints. "All staff attending the complaints have been given strict warning to follow the procedure promptly on receipt of complaints, failing which strict action wiil be taken against them," the affidavit said.
The Maharashtra government in its affidavit informed the court that it had directed all municipal corporations to set up helplines to receive noise pollution complaints. Recently its survey revealed that of the 27 municipal corporations in the state only seven had toll free numbers in a working condition with staff able to give satisfactory replies.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, November 3, 2017