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Silence please, urges state

mumbai Updated: Jun 05, 2010 01:39 IST
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Sayli Udas Mankikar
Hindustan Times
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The Maharashtra government is keen on reducing its carbon footprint by toning down celebrations and symbols of power such as sirens atop official vehicles.

Ministers and bureaucrats who zip around in their red beacon cars using sirens to cut across traffic will have to control its use beginning October 2.

Following the amendment of noise rules by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests, the state in April restricted ministers from using official sirens and firecrackers at government functions.

“People in cities such as Mumbai do not appreciate politicians cutting through heavy traffic taking advantage of their sirens. In the cabinet meeting we made it clear that such a facility should be used only if there is some dire necessity,” said State Environment Minister Suresh Shetty. By “dire necessity” the government means a fire or a blast.

The department has also moved towards making government functions firecracker-free that means no noise and no air pollution.

But will this be easy to implement considering these are

old habits that linked to tradition? “None of this is going to be easy and that is why we are calling it a restriction and not a complete ban,” Shetty said. “But we are committed to conservation and to tackle climate change. Hence, we have put together some small changes that we will try our best to incorporate.”