The Ministry of Environment & Forests has amended the ‘Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000’ to make them more stringent. This includes the setting up of a ‘National Noise
Monitoring Network’ across various cities. The following issues have been addressed through the amendments to Noise Rules, dated 11.01.2010:
- Stress has been laid on making the night peaceful. The ‘night time’ has been defined (10.00 pm to 6.00 am) and restrictions have been imposed on the use of horns, sound emitting construction equipments and bursting of fire crackers during night time.
- ‘Public place’ has been defined and the occupant of a public place has to restrict the volume of public address system, etc so that the noise emitting from its activity would not exceed the noise limit more than 10 dB (A).
- Similarly, the occupant of a private place has to restrict the volume of music system, etc so that the noise emitting from its activity would not exceed the noise limit by more than 5 dB (A).
- A duty has been cast upon the concerned State Governments to specify in advance, the number and particulars of days, not exceeding fifteen in a year, on which 2 hours exemption (10.00 pm to 12.00 midnight) would be operative. State would be the unit for such an exemption.
- These amendments are in line with the Supreme Court orders from time to time.
Bt Brinjal Public Consultations
13th January - 6th February 2010
Bt Brinjal, a transgenic brinjal created out of inserting a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus huringiensis, has generated much debate in India. The commercial introduction of Bt Brinjal
would represent the first GM food crop in the country. While Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) has approved the commercialisation, there is a wide spectrum of opinions
both for and against the introduction of the crop from different stakeholders.
In this context, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India asked CEE to undertake 7 public consultations across the country to gather views from scientists, agriculture experts, farmer organizations, consumer groups, NGOs, Government officials, media and concerned citizens. Mr. Jairam Ramesh, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests chaired the consultation meetings.
The first public consultation on the proposal to introduce commercialisation of Bt Brinjal was held in Kolkata on 13 January. CEE facilitated six more consultations on Bt Brinjal at different
locations in the country at Bhubaneswar, Ahmedabad, Nagpur, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Bangalore between January and February 2010.
The consultations were held to elicit views of different stakeholder groups regarding the commercial introduction of Bt Brinjal (transgenic brinjal by inserting cry1Ac gene from Bacillus
The Minister, chaired all the consultations and listened to opinions and concerns of various stakeholders. More than 8000 people participated in the consultations from across different states.
Over 9000 written submissions were received from different consultations and through mails and letters at CEE Bt Brinjal Secretariat.
On 9th February, 2010 Mr Jairam Ramesh declared “It is my duty to adopt a cautious, precautionary principle-based approach and impose a moratorium on the release of Bt Brinjal, till such time independent scientific studies establish, to the satisfaction of both the public and the professionals, the safety of the product from the point of view of its long-term impact on human health and environment, including the rich genetic wealth existing in brinjal in our country”.
The full text of the Minister’s statement is available at
the report of the consultations is available at www.ceeindia.org
CEE Central Photobank
A participant making her point on introducing BT Brinjal in market at consultation process in Nagpur. 7 cities were selected by the MoEF for holding the consultation in order to get a sample of the perspectives of different stakeholders.