Jul 13 2017 : The Times of India (Mumbai)
SOS to PM over plan to ease noise norms
TIMES NEWS NETWORK
Following the state government's intentions to relax the noise pollution rules in silence zones during Ganeshotsav, activists have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and environment minister Harsh Vardhan to register their protest.“We very strongly object to the proposed relaxation of noise pollution rules, which ban the use of loudspeakers in silence zones by the Maharashtra government. We write to you in anguish on behalf of citizens of Mumbai already suffering from the highest noise pollution levels in the world according to Central Pollution Control Board studies,“ said Sumaira Abdulali, convener of the Awaaz Foundation.
Until 2016, the state government allowed mandals to install loudspeakers in silence zones, within permissible limits adhering to the 10pm deadline. However, the Bombay high court had ordered the state government to not give permission for loudspeakers in silence zones.
The Shiv Sena has backed the city's govinda-Ganesha outfits on the noise pollution issue. “While noise pollution is a continuous hazard due to traffic and other noise sources, its effects are felt during the festival season when loudspeakers are often used in the sensitive areas of silence zones, adversely affecting the health of patients, the elderly and infants,“ said Abdulali in her letter.
According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, residential and silence zones should have a maximum noise level of 55dB and 50dB in the day and 45dB and 40dB at the night.
During the last day of immersion in 2016, the area outside Opera House junction, in south Mumbai was the noisiest at 116.4 decibels (dB), for a second consecutive year.
High noise levels were experienced in Prabhadevi that recorded 114 dB, areas near the Juhu airfield logged 112.2 dB.
Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.