HC asks for clarity on helipad issue
The Ministry of Environment and Forest has been asked to clarify its stand on the construction of helipads on building rooftops in the city.
The Bombay High Court on Wednesday asked the MoEF to file an affidavit by June 16, clarifying its stand on the issue of building helipads on rooftops in Mumbai, while hearing a public interest litigation filed by the NGO, Awaaz Foundation.
On Wednesday, the government showed a letter written by Jairam Ramesh, minister of state, environment and forest, to CM Ashok Chavan.
The letter says there is no specific provision in the Noise Pollution Rules to ban helipads. However, it adds: “In view of the high ambient noise levels in Mumbai, both during day and night time, very often in excess of prescribed standards, such new helipads are avoidable.”
On March 17, Ramesh had written to Chavan that he shared the concerns that have been expressed by many NGOs on the issue of helipads, adding that he has asked his colleagues in the MoEF to examine the issue.
The NGO had filed a PIL seeking regulation of noise pollution in the city and implementation of noise pollution guidelines.
Their advocate Mallika Iyer expressed apprehensions that noise levels in the city would increase drastically because of the government’s decision to allow helipads atop buildings within the city limits.
Earlier, an affidavit was filed by Secretary, Environment Department, Valsa Nair Singh, stating: “It is not the purpose of the rule, that noise levels for every minute of the day be within the prescribed limits. If that were the case, no aircraft or helicopter would be able to take off or land. Similarly, buildings under construction would not be able to employ heavy construction machinery.”
The court had expressed its displeasure with the affidavit.