NEW DELHI: Blaring noise from loudspeakers shouting out numerous demands marked the Jantar Mantar road in the national capital which turned into a designate protest site for anyone across the country.
While this atmosphere at the site is about to change as the National Green Tribunal on Thursday banned all protests and dharnas around the heritage building, saying such activities violate environmental laws.
The green body’s verdict came on a plea filed by Varun Seth alleging that processions and agitations held by social groups, political parties, NGOs at the Jantar Mantar were a major source of noise pollution in the area.
Jantar Mantar which is located in the heart of the national capital’s Lutyens Zone has attracted many over decades seen the movements like the start of India Against Corruption movement led by Anna Hazare and resulted in the formation of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP). The farmers from Tamil Nadu also staged protests in two phases
The bench headed by Justice R S Rathore also comprising expert member S S Garbyal stated "The environmental condition at Jantar Mantar Road in relation to noise pollution, cleanliness, management of waste and public health has grossly deteriorated. Besides, constant dharna, slogans, noise pollution, health problems due to unhygienic conditions generated by the agitators round-the- clock, is unique in the instant case."
The NGT ordered the civic agency New Delhi Municipal Council (NDMC) Chairman Naresh Kumar, Delhi Police Commissioner and the Delhi government to file compliance reports within five weeks.
Further the bench stated that due to the continuous activity of the protesters for a number of years, the site has virtually become hell for the residents of the locality who cannot sleep at night, face noise pollution during the day, having difficulties to enter their house.