Ministry tells HC it’s opposed to helipads atop bldgs
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has filed an affidavit in Bombay High Court saying that it is not in favour of allowing helipads on rooftops of residential buildings in the city.mumbai Updated: Jun 17, 2010 03:02 IST
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has filed an affidavit in Bombay High Court saying that it is not in favour of allowing helipads on rooftops of residential buildings in the city.
“In view of high ambient noise levels in the city, very often in excess of prescribed standards, new helipads are avoidable,” R. N. Jindal, additional director in MoEF, has said in the affidavit filed in the high court.
However, Jindal clarified that the noise pollution rules do not expressly bar construction of helipads in cities. “But, as it is, average noise levels in Mumbai cross the prescribed limit of 50 decibel in residential zones,” reads the affidavit filed in reply to a bunch of public interest litigations concerning excessive sound pollution levels in the city.
The government was considering allowing helipads on rooftops in the city, a move opposed in some quarters. One of the petitioners, city-based NGO Awaz Foundation, had expressed apprehension over the rise in noise pollution if rooftop helipads were permitted in the city.
The NGO’s opposition was based on a study conducted by Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) at Juhu airfield where the authority found noise level reached 120 - 140 decibels during take-off and landing of helicopters.
However, the upper limit for noise level in residential areas is 55 decibels during daytime and 45 decibels during night.
The state, however, has tried to justify its stand to allow helipads on rooftops of city buildings saying noise generated during landing and take off of choppers was within permissible limit of ambient noise level.
State’s counsel Shrihari Ane said ambient noise level is recorded over a period of time, and not only when the chopper lands or takes off. “Had it been measured as done by MPCB no airport could have been allowed in any of our cities,” he said.