Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh on Monday said the idea of setting up private helipad did not make any sense “as at both national and global level we are demanding for equity and equitable access to Global Atmospheric Space”.
“I have written to the Chief Minister on the issue. Demanding for private helipad violates noise pollution rules,” Ramesh told reporters here,replying to a query on status of Maharashtra’s plan to set up helipads on the rooftop of buildings in the city.
“The notion of having private helipad does not make any sense to me when we are talking about equity and equitable access to atmospheric space,” he said.
“I know that there many applications pending and I have written to the CM and have done all I can,” the minister said.
The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF),in an affidavit,has told the Bombay High Court that it does not support new helipads in Mumbai.
“The MoEF’s view is that while the noise rules do not specifically debar private helipads,in view of the high ambient noise levels in Mumbai in general both during day and night,such new helipads are avoidable,” MoEF Additional Director R N Jindal said recently.
The affidavit was filed in response to a PIL filed by the city-based Awaaz Foundation,which had contended that the proposal for helipads would result in noise pollution.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) had conducted tests and found that the sound of helicopters taking off and landing was 100-120 dB. This was double the norms for residential areas and silence zone areas of between 45 decibels and 55 decibels.
“The landing and take-off of a helicopter is associated with higher ambient noise levels and though it is momentary,it is termed as an ‘event’. Such events would result in increase in average ambient noise levels in the vicinity,” the affidavit said.
The state has plans to set up at least 12 helipads across the city. It had issued a directive to the BMC to amend its construction rules to allow new residential and commercial buildings to have helipads on their rooftops or on open spaces.