The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd today told the Bombay High Court that the average noise level in south Mumbai was already above the permissible limit and the Metro work would not enhance it.
The Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Ltd (MMRCL) made the submission to the court, citing a noise-mapping report of Mumbai by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute (NEERI), which pegged the average noise level in the metropolis at 80 decibels.
The MMRCL made the submission before a division bench of justices A S Oka and Riyaz Chagla, hearing its plea for modification of the court’s earlier order, prohibiting the metro firm from carrying out its work at Cuffe Parade in south Mumbai during night.
MMRCL counsel Ashutosh Kumbhkoni today submitted the NEERI report to the court which stated that the average noise level was 80 decibels.
“The Metro work, which we are seeking to carry out round the clock, would not enhance the already existing noise levels,” he said.
MMRCL had earlier told the court that the provisions of the Environment Protection Act and the Noise Pollution Rules would not apply to it.
The bench today pointed out to Kumbhkoni an order of the State Environment Impact Assessment Authority which permitted the MMRCL to carry out work at night but on the condition that it would adhere to the Noise Pollution Rules.
The court said the government will have to get the authority’s order modified if according to the MMRCL the rules do not apply to it.
The court had, on the last hearing, sought to know from MMRCL as to how did it propose to address the citizens’ woes on noise pollution due to Metro construction work.
Kumbhkoni today informed the court that an email id would be set up, and widely publicised for the people to lodge their complaints.
The court, however, said that an email id would not help as it would not guarantee immediate action.
In its application, MMRCL said it had to carry out tunnel boring and excavation work, both of which cannot be stopped after starting.
The high court had last December stopped MMRCL from carrying out any construction work during night as it was causing noise pollution and disturbing local residents.
The 33-kilometre underground Colaba-Bandra-SEEPZ Metro line 3 project will connect Cuffe Parade in south Mumbai to the SEEPZ economic zone and the international airport in the city’s Andheri suburb.