The Maharashtra government, on August 16, 2017, informed the Bombay High Court that an area cannot be considered as a ‘silence zone’, where anti-noise pollution rules are applicable, unless it is declared or notified as such by the state. The state government filed an affidavit before a division bench of justices AS Oka and Riyaz Chagla, which was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking strict implementation of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules in the state.
“A few days ago, the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change issued a notification, dated August 10, 2017, whereby the Noise Pollution Rules of 2000 are substantially amended,” said the affidavit filed by Archana Shirke, undersecretary, state environment department. “As per the amended rules, any area/zone cannot be considered as a silence area/zone, until and unless specific declaration to that effect is made or issued by the state government,” the affidavit said.
The high court had, in its August 2016 order, said an area of not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions and courts, constitutes a silence zone and hence, no specific declaration to that effect was necessary. The court has now directed the petitioners to go through the state government’s affidavit and posted the matter for further hearing after a week.