Loudspeaker ban in Azad Maidan | india | Hindustan Times
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Loudspeaker ban in Azad Maidan

Rallyists of all hues assembling at the historic Azad Maidan will no longer be allowed to use loudspeakers, as the civic body has designated it a silence zone.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2009 01:07 IST
Naresh Kamath

Rallyists of all hues assembling at the historic Azad Maidan will no longer be allowed to use loudspeakers, as the civic body has designated it a silence zone.

Honking, bursting crackers, using loudspeakers and any other activity that causes noise pollution are prohibited in silence zones.

Mahapalika Road, adjoining Azad Maidan, is also a silence zone now. “We will henceforth not allow loudspeakers to (be used by) protesters (in Azad Maidan),” said Additional Municipal Commissioner R.A. Rajeev. In addition to Azad Maidan, Xavier’s College, Cama Hospital and the civic headquarters are also on the road.

Corporators elected to various committees and their supporters often celebrate by bringing bands. That will now be history.

The BMC has identified 1,113 locations across the city as silence zones and temporary boards have been installed there.

Permanent boards announcing them as silence zones would be part of an ambitious civic programme to install street furniture in the city.

The noise pollution rules and regulations issued by the Ministry of Environment and Forests in 2000 require creation of such zones around hospitals, religious places and educational institutions.

Educational institutions have welcomed the move. “Some motorcyclists tend to ride full speed and honk loudly just to attract the attention of the college crowd, said N.W. Shivdasani, director, Jai Hind College, which is located at ‘A’ Road, Churchgate and also designated as a silence zone. “Authorities should be strict in fining them.”

Vijay D’Silva, medical director, Asian Heart Institute, Bandra Kurla Complex, said noise pollution was a violation of an individual’s right to privacy. “In hospitals, patients and their relatives are already stressed and such noise makes them more irritable,” he said.

Wedding processions with bands will also be disallowed in such zones.

However, the responsibility for fining offenders would rest with the police. The BMC’s move comes after the Bombay High Court acting on a PIL filed by NGO Awaaz Foundation asked the state to act quickly on this front.