Signages still pending for silence zones

From 64 silence zones which were notified in 2005, now there are 94 sites in NMMC

mumbai Updated: Sep 13, 2018 00:30 IST
Padmja Sinha
Padmja Sinha
Hindustan Times
Mumbai,Maharashtra,Silence zones
KBP college is in a silence zone at Sector -16 Vashi in Navi Mumbai.(HT Photo)

As per the amended rules issued by the Union government on August 10, 2017, 94 silence zones have been identified under Navi Mumbai Municipal Corporation (NMMC) limits. Despite that, the corporation has not published the list of new silence zones in the city.

NMMC is yet to start the work of installing signages to indicate the zones, and with the festival season here, Ganpati mandal organisers may be confused about the approved noise levels.

“From 64 silence zones which were notified in 2005, now the number has been increased to 94. The tender process to install signages in the new silence zones has been completed and very soon the signs will be up across the city,” said NMMC city engineer Mohan Dagaonkar.

He did recognise that the current lack of signages could cause confusion. “As signages have not been installed yet, there are increased chances of noise violations during Ganpati. We have shared the list of zones with the police who are entrusted to enforce the silence zones and take appropriate action against the defaulters during the festival,” said Dagaonkar.

The Bombay high court had earlier directed the government to denotify all the silence zones notified under Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, and notify new silence zones.

Panvel City Municipal Corporation (PCMC) has also identified 83 silence zones in its jurisdiction and is yet to put put signages for the same. “I have notified the silence zones and there are close to 83 zones earmarked in PCMC nodes. The police will be taking action against violators during the festival,” said civic chief Ganesh Deshmukh.

Anti-noise activist Ajay Marathe from Vashi believes that mandal organisers could take advantage of the lack of signages to cause violations. “Noise violation is very blatant during Ganpati. If the corporation has not earmarked areas with silence zones then this might give an opportunity to noise violators. They could have put up the signages to avoid confusion among the organisers,” he said.

As per the government amendment, any area/zone cannot be considered a silence area /zone until and unless a specific declaration to that effect is made or issued by the state government.

The new silence zones have been declared in areas falling in the category of industrial, commercial, and residential. As per the directive, NMMC had even purchased 25 new decibel meters worth ₹2 lakh each, to record violations and has handed over the same to the police personnel responsible for taking action against violators.

The directive was issued by the state government in wake of various festivals like Dahi Handi, Ganpati, and Navratri which sees many violations.

Tushar Doshi deputy commissioner of police, crime, Navi Mumbai said, “We will strictly monitor any noise violations in the jurisdiction of both corporations. There are Ganpati mandals which have sought no objection certificate about noise pollution, hence, we have a complete list of the same.”

First Published: Sep 13, 2018 00:30 IST