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Reduce noise near Delhi airport, orders court

New Delhi, March 3 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Wednesday asked the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to take ‘immediate measures’ to check noise pollution near the airport that is affecting people at a hospital and a residential area nearby.

A division bench of Acting Chief Justice Madan B. Lokur and Justice Mukta Gupta said: ‘Some immediate measures should be taken so that residents should not suffer.’

Additional Solicitor General A.S. Chandiok said: ‘We are ready with long and short-term steps that we are planning to take to control noise pollution in the airport vicinity. And if the present trend continues there is a need to create a separate airport zone so as to lessen the noise level as prevalent in other countries.’

On the last date of hearing, the court had barred Delhi International Airport Pvt Ltd (DIAL) from using two runways at the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) airport after a nearby hospital alleged that the noise created by landing of planes disturbs its patients.

On Wednesday, DIAL requested the court to lift the ban on runways 29 and 11 as repair work has to start on runway 28.

‘If we don’t use runway number 29 and 11 and shut 28 then it will lead to massive chaos,’ Rajiv Nayyar, counsel for DIAL said, adding that the capital has to gear up for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.

However, the court did not issue any directions to that effect and asked the DGCA and DIAL to file a detailed affidavit as to how they plan to control noise pollution.

The court also asked the petitioners to file a rejoinder to the affidavit filed by the DGCA by March 10.

The Indian Spinal Injuries Centre had filed a petition, alleging that the noise created by landing aircraft, which fly at a low height of 200-300 feet, was disturbing patients.

‘As a result of the thrust of the planes, patients constantly suffer from the immense noise pollution created by the planes…sleeplessness is (experienced by them) on a regular basis. Even the doctors performing surgery have complained,’ said the hospital.

The hospital said the noise created by the planes was usually between the range of 75 decibel to 94 decibel and was ‘clearly beyond the stipulated standards laid down under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000’.

The court is also hearing a similar plea from residents of nearby Vasant Kunj locality, who have also complained of noise pollution.

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