Apprehensive about a further increase in noise levels at Shivaji Park if Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray’s memorial comes up on the ground, anti-noise activists and campaigners have sought that it be placed at a different location.
“To protect the sanctity of the memorial, it is best to build it in a less noisy location. At Shivaji Park, there is already enough noise in spite of it being declared a silence zone. There is no point in making a spectacle at a memorial if you value the individual; it inconveniences others and does disservice to the memory of the person,” said Stalin D, project director with environment non-profit, Vanashakti.
But spokesperson for Awaaz Foundation, Mohana Nair, was unequivocal about the foundation’s opposition to the idea of having a Thackeray memorial at Shivaji Park.
“This will be like giving an invitation to violate noise pollution norms. If the memorial comes up here, they [Shiv Sena] would want to hold annual functions, which will involve the use of loudspeakers. The high court has already asked them to relocate their annual Dussehra rally from Shivaji Park to the MMRDA grounds in Bandra-Kurla Complex next year,” said Nair.
“Then there are other civic concerns articulated by others against the memorial, too. Considering all these factors, we oppose the memorial at Shivaji Park. An alternative location should be sought for it,” Nair added.
Ashok Rawat, local resident and trustee of Wecom Trust, which had filed the PIL challenging the use of Shivaji park for public and political rallies, said: “Let’s assume that Shivaji Park is not a silence zone, but a regular playground. Even then, what is the guarantee that norms concerning noise pollution, which are applicable to residential areas, will be adhered to by the Sena? With a Shivaji memorial already there, I do not believe there is a case for another memorial.”