New Delhi: Union Environment Minister Jairam
Ramesh has shot down Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan`s
proposal to allow noise relaxation in "silence zones" arguing
that "certain practicalities cannot be wished away".
Ramesh has also suggested to the Chief Minister to take a
cue from Delhi Government which has successfully implemented
the Noise Pollution Rules 2000 in such zones in the national
Chavan had written a letter last month to Ramesh seeking
amendment in the noise pollution rules allowing relaxation of
"silence zone" norms for 15 days as in the case of
loudspeakers as well as the relaxation criteria for
notification of such zones in Mumbai.
Currently, silence zones include courts, hospitals and
educational institutions, and loud noise and fire crackers are
prohibited around 100 metres from such zones.
Ramesh told the CM that "certain practicalities cannot be
wished away" and then there were various Supreme Court orders
in this direction. "Hence relaxation sought is not possible in
silence zone," he said.
The state government`s plan to revise the demarcation
of silence zones in the city came after the Bombay High Court
in May virtually banned noisy political rallies in the
historic Shivaji Park by declaring it a silence zone.
The ban on holding political rallies and festivals in the
biggest ground in the heart of Mumbai has upset all the
political parties in the State.
Only three functions -- Republic Day on Janruary 26,
Maharashtra Day on May 1 and death anniversary of B R Ambedkar
on December 6 can be held at the park as per court order.
The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) has already
declared 51 areas as silence zones which includes areas around
47 educational institutions and four hospitals in 24 municipal
wards of the city.