Shivaji Park, the favourite ground of Mumbai’s politicians and protestors, may get quieter now. The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the state government and the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) to make it a silence zone.
The court also restrained the police from granting permission to use loudspeakers for events at Shivaji Park after dark in its interim order, which was given while hearing a plea filed by a city-based NGO Wecom Trust and two citizens Ashok Ravat and Sharad Dixit.
Three days in a year are exempt from the silence zone purview — Maharashtra Day, Republic Day and Ambedkar Jayanti — as they are “important days”, the court said.
The court has given the state the liberty to relax the restrictions on other days, which it is likely to take advantage of.
The state’s advocate general Ravi Kadam said: “As many rallies are held at Shivaji Park, we will have to frame guidelines for granting exceptions during polls.”
Rules governing silence zones state that no permission for loudspeakers can be given and that the noise level should not exceed 50 decibels during the day and 45 decibels at night.
Political parties are unhappy and likely to pressure the government. Deputy CM Chhagan Bhujbal said: “We’ll request the court to reconsider it as grounds like Shivaji Park are central to people’s movements, rallies and protests, which are important in a democratic set-up.”
The court has asked the state and BMC to respond on June 16.