National Green Tribunal: In an application filed against use of horns by Railways, violating the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, (‘Noise Pollution Rules’), a five-member Bench of Adarsh Kumar Goel (Chairperson), Sudhir Agarwal (Judicial Member), Arun Kumar Tyagi (Judicial Member), Dr. A. Senthil Vel (Expert Member) and Dr. Afroz Ahmad (Expert Member), dismissed the application on grounds that noise free environment is necessary, but essential activities must be conducted.
In the matter at hand, the applicants were aggrieved by the noise pollution caused in the surrounding areas due to the usage of train horns. The applicants are residents of Sundar Nagar, Subash Nagar, Gadi Malyan, Shivji Colony, Adarsh Nagar, Dhaula Bhatta, Kalyani Pura, Nehru Nagar in Ajmer and were suffering due to noise pollution generated from horns used by the Railways. The case of the applicants was that the operation by Railways was in violation of the Noise Pollution Rules.
The Tribunal said that it is a matter of common knowledge that operations of Railways serve a large number of the population and the generation of noise in their operation cannot be wished away. Further, it was said that horns are required to be blown as per the applicable ‘whistle code’. It was also said that an environment free from noise pollution is necessary, but essential activities have to be conducted.
Thus, the Tribunal dismissed the applicant’s plea to prohibit Railways from using horns.
[Ashok Malik v. Ministry of Railways, 2023 SCC OnLine NGT 162, decided on 20-04-2023]
JUSTICE ADARSH KUMAR GOEL, CHAIRPERSON, JUSTICE SUDHIR AGARWAL, JUSTICE ARUN KUMAR TYAGI, DR. A. SENTHIL VEL, DR. AFROZ AHMAD