Bring The Noise Around IGI Airport Down: NGT To Ministry
Following a slew of measures taken by the Indira Gandhi International Airport to curb noise pollution, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) on November 24 directed the Ministry of Civil Aviation Ministry to ensure 'judgement-based' use of reverse thrust by aircraft, building of sound barriers and erection of a green belt around the airport's boundary wall.
Thrust reversal is a temporary diversion of an aircraft engine's exhaust so that it is directed forward, rather than backwards. This technique reduces speed and noise.
A Bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed a slew of directions to minimise the noise generated during take-offs and landings of aircraft at the airport. It also directed the ministry and other authorities to take all mitigating measures for reducing noise pollution in terms of the report submitted by the environment ministry.
"The respondents may issue an advisory to all airlines whose aircraft land at the runway of the IGI and domestic airport, New Delhi, to ensure 'judgement-based' use of reverse thrust keeping in view weather, length of runway, wind and other attendant circumstances to reduce the noise level, particularly at the time of landing of aircraft," NGT ordered.
The green panel also directed that all coaches, buses and other vehicles plying at the airport here should be CNG-operated and must comply with the prescribed emission standards. The Bench further said that all the non-CNG buses/coaches or other vehicles being used at the airport, should be converted to CNG within six months.
However, the NGT refused to impose night curfew on landing or take-off of aircraft at the airport and making the houses near the airport sound-proof.
It noted that nearly 80 to 82 flights take-off or land every hour at the Delhi airport, and to prohibit or impose a night curfew would neither be rational nor would it be in line with the doctrine of sustainable development.
"To say that the airport should be shut for the entire night would neither be in consonance with the Principle of Sustainable Development, nor would it be an option open to the State in the peculiar circumstances prevailing internationally today.”
"Rather, every effort should be made by the state and other stakeholders and they must take all mitigation measures to ensure that the noise levels are brought to the possible minimum extent," the Bench said.
The NGT's judgement was based on the pleas filed by the residents of south Delhi's Vasant Kunj and Bijwasan and the super-specialty hospital Indian Spinal Injuries Centre (ISIC). The residents had filed pleas seeking directions to reduce noise level in the residential areas near the airport.
The petitioners have alleged that the noise created by aircraft at the IGI airport was affecting the health of the residents of nearby areas.
With inputs from Housing News