Bombay High Court directs MPCB to record ambient noise levels

Mumbai: The Bombay High Court on Wednesday directed the officials of Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) to record the ambient noise decibel levels at South Mumbai’s Cuffe Parade area, during the night hours. The HC said this exercise would help it to decide whether to allow the Mumbai Metro Rail Corporation Limited (MMRCL) to work throughout the day and night in the area for the next 18 months for its Metro III line.

A division bench of Justices Abhay Oka and Riyaz Chagla directed the MPCB officials to record the ambient noise levels near the Metro III construction sites in South Mumbai region. This comes in response to the submissions of senior counsel S U Kamdar, appearing for Larsen & Tourbo, the contractor tasked with constructing the controversial Metro III line. The contractor, in an earlier hearing, submitted that the noise levels in Cuffe Parade area are 80 decibels during day time and 61 db during night hours. “Our work would only be 10 db extra than the already existing decibel levels,” Kamdar had submitted.

The bench is seized with a plea filed by the MMRCL and the Maharashtra government seeking permission to carry out tunnelling work at Cuffe Parade area for the next 18 months, during day and night.  The MMRCL was in May last year, restrained by a bench headed by the then Chief Justice Manjula Chellur from carrying out any work during night hours in South Mumbai after an advocate Robin Jaisinghani, petitioned the HC seeking Rs. 10 lakh per day compensation for the ‘sleepless’ nights he and his family have suffered due to metro work.

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