Sound of silence in Vasant Kunj
Aeroplanes make a lot of noise. And residents of Vasant Kunj know the fact better than the rest.
But, relief is ready to take off for 60,000 residents of the South Delhi neighbourhood and surrounding areas disturbed by the noise of planes landing on IGI airport’s newly commissioned third runway.
The Delhi High Court on Wednesday directed the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) and Airport Authority of India (AAI) to take steps to reduce the sound pollution plaguing these areas.
The court was acting on a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by NGO CHETNA on behalf of the residents of Vasant Kunj, Masudpur and Rangpuri.
Shiv Kumar, the lawyer for the NGO, contended the noise was much in excess of permissible limits fixed for residential areas and it violated the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.
Night curfew not enough
When senior lawyer Rajiv Nayyar appearing for DIAL informed that they themselves had recently imposed a night curfew (banning of landing and take-off between 10 pm and 6 am) following complaints from residents, Kumar said they wanted stoppage of landings during the day also.
He said the whole area was a protected ‘silent zone’ with over 20 senior secondary schools, research centers, the Nuclear Science Centre, nursing homes, including the Indian Spinal Injury Centre and Fortis Hospital in the vicinity.
The NGO also contended that environment ministry had okayed construction of the runway on the basis of a fudged sound pollution survey report.
Terming the night curfew as a “good beginning”, the Bench headed by Chief Justice AP Shah sought to know from DIAL by July 29 the other measures they proposed to bring down the pollution.