Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Thursday directed the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to clarify its stand on whether it would declare Shivaji Park in Central Mumbai as a silence zone and if it was a play ground or recreation ground.
A division bench of Chief Justice Mohit Shah and Justice SJ Vazifdar was hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Wecom Trust challenging the use of Shivaji Park for commercial purposes like political rallies and protests and the use of loudspeakers in the area.
"Under the MRTP Act, a play ground cannot be used for commercial purposes for more than 30 days in a year. A different bench of the High Court had in May last year had directed the civic body to declare Shivaji Park area as silence zone," petitioner`s lawyer Virag Tuljapurkar argued.
BMC counsel KK Singhvi however said Shivaji Park falls under the category of recreation ground and not play ground and hence it can be used for commercial purposes as and when required.
"With regard to declaring the area as a silence zone, the state government has recommended to the Centre to make amendments to the Noise Pollution Rules. Every place in Mumbai has some temple or school and hence it is not feasible to declare every area as a silence zone," Singhvi said.
According to Tuljapurkar, BMC`s final draft on Shivaji Park declares it as a play ground.
The High Court directed the corporation to file an affidavit clarifying their stand by March 31 and also submit
all relevant documents before it.