The state government on Wednesday informed the Bombay High Court that no area will be earmarked as ‘silence zone’ until the government notifies it as one. The state environment department told the High Court that the Noise Pollution Rules 2000 has been amended by the Centre.
The state government submitted an affidavit before a division bench of Justice A S Oka and Justice Riyaz Chagla that was hearing a bunch of petitions seeking strict implementation of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules in the state.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni said, “There will be no silence zones in the state until the state government notifies them.” The government’s affidavit stated that August 10 onwards, silence zones — as earlier observed around 100 metres of hospitals, educational institutes, courts and religious places — will no longer be silence zones.
The affidavit filed by Archana Shirke, under secretary, environment department, stated: “…the said rules as amended w.e.f August 10 demonstrate that at least with effect from August 10, 2017, unless and until any area/ zone is not declared by the state government as or to be ‘a silent area/zone’ as contemplated by the said rules (as amended), for the implementation of the said rules and law relating to silent area/zone, any area/zone (whichever) cannot be considered as a ‘silence area/zone’.”
The affidavit further stated, “More particularly, for the implementation of the said rules and law relating to silent areas/zone, in my humble submission, in view of the said amendment, at least on and from August 10, 2017 apart from any other area/zone an area comprising not less than 100 metres around all hospitals, educational institutes, religious places and courts as defined in/by the said rules cannot constitute ‘a silence zone’ unless and until specific declaration to that effect is made/ issued by the state government, as contemplated by the said rules.”
The court on Wednesday directed the petitioners to go through the state government’s affidavit, and adjourned the matter for further hearing after a week.
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