IIT experts to help cut noise near Delhi Airport

September 21st, 2011 - 11:35 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Sep 21 (IANS) The central government Wednesday informed the Delhi High Court that it has sought help from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) experts to reduce the noise level near the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport here.

Appearing for the civil aviation ministry, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) A.S. Chandhiok told the division bench of Chief Justice Dipak Misra and Justice Sanjiv Khanna that the government has sought suggestions from IIT experts to check noise arising from planes, specially at night.

The court asked the government to file a detailed affidavit by Nov 9.

Hearing a plea filed by residents of Vasant Kunj and adjoining areas, seeking a ban on night flying on the newly-opened third runway as it disturbs their sleep, the bench March 30 saw a powerpoint presentation by all the stakeholders on the issue, including the NGO, Chetna, that filed the petition.

The in-camera presentation was an attempt by the residents to apprise the court about the high decibel levels in their colonies due to the aircraft, even as the Airports Authority of India and the Delhi International Airport Limited (DIAL) showcased steps taken by them to reduce noise.

The government Nov 1, 2010, had informed the court that no aircraft with noisy engines would be allowed to take off or land at the airport at night.

“With this new rule coming into effect to reduce noise pollution from aircraft… we are confident that the residents living in the vicinity of the airport will not have to face much problem,” Chandhiok had said then.

The Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) also issued a circular on the issue, following directions from the court, he said.

Counsel for DIAL informed the bench that directions had been issued to aircraft operators to curb the noise pollution.

“We have fixed the limits in airport zones at 105 decibels during the day and 95 decibels at night,” Chandhiok said.

The new DGCA rule also said that no aircraft operator should indulge in any activity related to aircraft operation that exceeded or intended to exceed the maximum permissible noise limits at the airport during the day.

The maximum limit for noise level at night has been fixed at levels lower than most major international airports, including New York’s JFK (99 decibels), Rio de Janeiro (118.4 decibels), Paris (104.5 decibels) and Osaka (107 decibels).

Three airports in London have 94 decibels as the limit.

The residents contended the noise was much in excess of permissible limits fixed for residential areas and it violated the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.

The petitioners allege that aircraft traffic has violated the silent zone near Vasant Kunj and adjoining areas. Pointing out the area has Indian Spinal Injury Centre and Fortis Hospital apart from several schools, the petition questions the very basis of permission granted for the third runway.

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