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HindustanTimes Sun,13 Jul 2014

Civic body wants more silence zones
Bhavika Jain , Hindustan Times
Mumbai, August 21, 2009
First Published: 01:25 IST(21/8/2009)
Last Updated: 01:26 IST(21/8/2009)

The municipal body will demarcate 1,313 new silence zones in the city.

The city already has 1,122 silence zones.

If the court gives the nod for more silence zones, about 70 per cent of the city will turn into silence zone.

“We have notified areas around religious places as silence zones. We will send the list of these areas to the high court,” said Additional Municipal Commissioner R.A. Rajeev.

The affidavit submitted by the civic body to the Bombay High Court in response to a petition, stated that the 1,313 spots identified as new silence zones are religious places and that the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation will put up signboards in the new spots in three months.

Awaaz Foundation, a non-governmental organisation, has filed a petition seeking strict implementation of Noise Pollution Act that gives relief to the citizens from noise pollution.

According to the Noise Pollution Act, 100 metres around schools, hospitals, religious places and court are declared as silent zone.

The prescribed noise levels in the silence zones are 50 decibel in the morning and 40 decibels in night.

According to the rules, there is a complete ban on loudspeakers, blowing horns, musical instruments and the bursting of firecrackers at silent zones.

This is applicable even during festivals like Ganesh festival which will start on Sunday.

However, citizen groups are not sure how the authorities will be able to keep noise under control in these zones,
especially during festivals.

“The authorities are already failing to implement the rule for the existing silence zones in the city. People don’t even
know about these zones,” said Sanjay Prabhakar a Parel resident.

The civic administration has said its responsibility will be limited to displaying the boards at the start and end of the silence zone.

“The implementing authorities will be the local and traffic police,” Rajeev said.

Joint Commissioner (Law and Order) Himanshu Roy was unavailable for comment.

The high court on Thursday, while hearing a petition filled by the Awaaz Foundation, said just like Mumbai, the rest of Maharashtra should also have silence zones demarcated within the next two weeks.


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