Build sound barriers, green belt around Delhi airport’s boundary wall: NGT
In a series of steps to curb noise pollution at the IGI airport here, the National Green Tribunal on Friday directed the Ministry of Civil Aviation to ensure ‘judgement based’ use of reverse thrust by aircraft, building of sound barriers and erection of a green belt around the airport’s boundary wall.
Thrust reversal, also called reverse thrust, is the temporary diversion of an aircraft engine’s exhaust so that it is directed forward, rather than backwards, to reduce speed and noise.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed a slew of directions to minimise the noise generated during take-offs and landings of aircraft at the airport.
The tribunal directed the Ministry and other authorities to take all mitigating measures for reducing noise pollution in terms of the report submitted by the Environment Ministry.
“The respondents may issue an advisory to all airlines whose aircraft land at the runway of the IGI and domestic airport, New Delhi to ensure ‘judgement based’ use of reverse thrust keeping in view weather, length of runway, wind and other attendant circumstances to reduce the noise level, particularly at the time of landing of aircraft,” it ordered.
The green panel also directed that all coaches, buses and other vehicles plying at the airport here should be CNG- operated and must comply with the prescribed emission standards.
“Non-CNG buses/coaches or other vehicles plying at the airport, should be converted to CNG within six months from today,” the bench, also comprising Justice Jawad Rahim, said.
The NGT declined to impose night curfew on landing or take-off of aircraft at the airport and making the houses near the airport sound-proof.
It noted that nearly 80 to 82 flights take-off or land every hour at the Delhi domestic/international airport and to prohibit or impose a night curfew would neither be rational, nor would it be in line with the doctrine of sustainable development.
“To say that the airport should be shut for the entire night would neither be in consonance with the Principle of Sustainable Development, nor would it be an option open to the State in the peculiar circumstances prevailing internationally today.
“Rather every effort should be made by the State and other stakeholders and they must take all mitigation measures to ensure that the noise levels are brought to the possible minimum extent,” the bench said.
The green panel’s judgement came on a batch of pleas filed by the residents of South Delhi’s Vasant Kunj, Bijwasan and Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC), a super-specialty hospital, seeking directions to reduce noise level in the residential areas near the airport.
The petitioners have alleged that the noise created by aircraft at the IGI airport was affecting the health of the residents of nearby areas.