The state government has assured the legislative council that it is working towards having the Central noise pollution Act modified to ensure political rallies can be held at Shivaji Park.
“There are certain difficulties as it is a Central Act. However, we have suggested some amendments through the state advocate general,” Bhaskar Jadhav, minister of state for urban development, told the legislative council on Wednesday.
Jadhav was responding to a calling-attention notice raised by opposition leader Vinod Tawde, who said that Shivaji Park has a rich political history prohibiting public rallies was not a good precedent. “If you apply the law in its spirit, almost every area in Mumbai will become a silence zone,” Tawde said. National leaders should be allowed to hold public rallies at the ground, he added.
The state government has suggested several amendments to the rules in Noise Pollution Act that define these silence zones.
BJP leader Vinod Tawde demanded that the government and the urban development department reformulate the land records to show that the Ganesh temple falls outside the 100-metre zone. Jadhav assured the House that he would hold a meeting of BMC and UDD officials next week to work out a solution
In 2010, an NGO moved the Bombay high court stating that the ground was reserved as a playground and the BMC should not allow it for commercial, social or political use. Shivaji Park residents had demanded that the area be declared a silence zone given that there was a school, a temple, two hospitals and training schools in the locality. In May 2010, the HC directed the BMC and the state to jointly demarcate it as a silence zone.