Students and teachers of the Government School and College at Balamatta (behind the bus-stop) have been bearing the brunt of noise pollution from vehicles for several years.
On Wednesday, they decided to get proactive and launched a campaign against honking of horns at busy Ambedkar Circle and Balamatta Road.
The students got into buses that stopped near the junction and presented roses and pamphlets to drivers asking them not to honk their horns. They also pasted stickers carrying the same message inside the bus.
The Regional Transport Office and Rotary Club Hillside supported the students' initiative.
“The noise (from horns) is just unbearable. We cannot hear lectures,” said Pratima H., II B.A. student, whose classroom is close to the junction. Despite boards indicating no-honking zone, the drivers of the buses continue to honk their horns while approaching the bus-stop and also while moving away from there. “It becomes tough especially when traffic movement is slow. The decibel levels increase manifolds and our teachers have to stop their lecture,” said ninth standard student Priya M.
Senior Motor Vehicle Inspector M. Keshava Dharani said that to start with, drivers had been asked not to honk their horns near schools, hospitals and other non-honking zones. “From Thursday, we and the city police will be booking cases against the violators,” he said. The offending drivers would be asked to pay a fine of Rs. 800, he added.
Mr. Dharani said private buses should be using electric horns and not shrill and multi-tune horns. “Though the shrill and multi-tune horns had been removed, they have again come back,” he added. There was a need to control speed of heavy vehicles, which caused noise pollution, in the no-honking zones, he said.
President of Rotary Club Hillside Sophia Zacharia said the club would organise similar campaigns near other schools and hospitals. “We are starting from here as this is an important junction. Students here have been facing problems because of honking,” she added.