7th July 2010
Hon’ble Minister Shri Jairam Ramesh,
Once again, thank you very much for clarifying to the Maharashtra State Government that private helipads would not be permitted in any city of India including Mumbai, but that a few helipads for emergency and public use at suitable locations would be encouraged.
I have done some research on helipads in other cities such as New York, London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sao Paulo, and also of Indian cities such as Hyderabad and Bangalore where permissions for private helipads have been granted. New York’s private helipads were shut down after the 7/11 terrorist attacks and an accident on the Pan Am building and not even Donald Trump has his own personal helipad; in London, Harrods was refused permission for a helipad after residents complained. Tokyo has no private helipads and Hong Kong has only one which is placed atop Peninsula Hotel, is rarely used. Only Sao Paulo, a casino city, has over 250 private helipads.
In India, Hyderabad city has granted permission for 5 private helipads atop residential towers, and Bangalore has applications pending from private developers and hotels similar to about 12 applications pending in Mumbai.
Silence Zones: I am disturbed to know that the Maharashtra State Government has sought amendment of the Noise Pollution Rules to relax the definition of Silence Zones as per the ‘Delhi model’.
Sometime in the 1960s. old timers remember that the entire city of Mumbai was declared a Silence Zone. Today, Mumbai is one of the most densely populated cities in the world and one of the noisiest; it is even more necessary to have the entire city declared a Silence Zone. The ‘Delhi model’, which is a notification of the Delhi State Government defining hospitals as over 100 beds, educational institutions according to size appears to be contrary to the Noise Rules of the Union Government which includes even clinics and all educational institutions, courts and religious places within the ambit of the Noise Rules. The State Government of Maharashtra, in compliance with a Bombay High Court Order has already notified over 2000 Silence Zones in Mumbai and thousands more all over the State of Maharashtra in 2009.
Mumbai’s citizens have struggled long and hard to have Silence Zones notified which was done last year after a Bombay High Court Order. Even after the Notification, residents of areas which were deliberately left out have approached the Courts including residents of Churchgate, Shivaji Park, Navi Mumbai etc. On their behalf, I strongly object to any dilution of the Silence Zone regulation for Mumbai which would be at the cost of health and peace of residents. Patients admitted to smaller hospitals and students at smaller schools suffer as much from excessive as those admitted to larger institutions and small institutions form the majority in a crowded city like Mumbai.
I request that the entire city of Mumbai should be declared Silence Zone on account of the numerous small institutions which are of a sensitive nature and indoor areas created to hold functions. Political rallies (which appear to be the major reason for the State Government’s application to amend noise rules) may also be held at some specifically notified locations outside the crowded areas of the city or indoors. Such practices are common in most major cities world wide and would also help to bring noise levels in Mumbai down towards those prescribed by the WHO to maintain the health of urban residents and to the statutory levels prescribed in the Noise Pollution Rules.
Thank you and with regards.
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Sawantwadi-Dodamarg Wildlife Corridor