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The National Green Tribunal has directed the Delhi Traffic Police to install cameras before the end of this year to monitor the speed of vehicles and to record their details on the extremely busy Outer Ring Road stretch running along Panchsheel Park. A bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim ordered that the portion of the outer ring road which passes through Panchsheel Park should be made of smooth asphalt as recommended by IIT Roorkee in order to curtail noise pollution. The green panel also directed planting of trees and shrubs along both sides of the road to stop noise pollution. It also asked the Delhi Police to strictly implement existing ban on pressure horns and prevent entry of overloaded trucks in this area. "We direct that the installation of speed cameras has to be completed within December 2017 and immediately thereafter the violators should be challenged.
We further direct that Delhi Development Authority, Delhi government and Public Works Department to report to the NGT every three months about the progress on the directions issued by this tribunal," the bench said. The tribunal had earlier issued directives for declaring Panchsheel Park in South Delhi a 'silent zone' and restricting the speed limit of vehicles to 30 kmph in the area. It had directed the traffic police to ensure no overloaded vehicles plied in the area and that no pressure horns were used. The directions came on a petition filed by former IAS officer and a resident of Panchsheel Park Omesh Saigal, who alleged that noise pollution, generated by heavy traffic flow on the Outer Ring Road, was affecting the health of people living in the area. The petition sought directions to the government or civic bodies to erect screens or walls along both sides of the road to block the noise. However, the Delhi government told the NGT that erecting high walls on both sides of the road to block noise would adversely affect aesthetics, block the view of residents and traffic. The petition had alleged that sound levels in the area were above the norms stipulated under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules 2000.
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