Why are the police ‘silent' against motorists using shrill horns? Though the use of such horns has been prohibited, why is the Transport Department not booking cases under provisions of the Motor Vehicles Act against such motorists?
These are some of the questions that people, who are hoping for a relief from this menace, are asking.
With the increase in the number of vehicles in the city, noise pollution level has also gone up considerably over the years. But, noise pollution has not been taken seriously by the authorities concerned and there are few instances of such offenders being penalised by the police or the Transport Department. As a result, more and more vehicles, mostly lorries and private buses, continue to use shrill horns. In an attempt to monitor noise pollution and build a databank, owing to rapid urbanisation and the rise in vehicular traffic here, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) had announced sometime ago to install a noise monitoring system at a commercial location, mostly at K.R. Circle. The aim was to monitor the ambient noise condition in residential, high-traffic density and industrial zones, identified by the board. But so far, no such system has been installed here.
Incidentally, areas identified as ‘silence zones' are facing high-noise levels.
Silence zone, according to the Government, is an area comprising not less than 100 metres around hospitals, educational institutions, courts, religious places or any other area which is declared as such by the competent authority.
Officers at the KSPCB here said that noise levels were monitored only during Deepavali in residential, industrial and commercial zones. Last year, the KSPCB had requested the public to refrain from bursting high-decibel firecrackers such as ‘atom bombs' and ‘hydrogen bombs'.
KSPCB sources here said that there was no provision for monitoring ambient noise levels on a daily basis.
Although the original horn supplied by the vehicle manufacturer should not be replaced as per the Motor Vehicles Act, motorists seem to be oblivious of this and replace them with shrill horns.
Effects on health
Doctors say that noise above 85 decibels can lead to hearing impairment and can put the victim at the risk of heart disease. Noise-induced hearing loss, though preventable, is permanent. In addition to reduced hearing capability, the consequences of exposure to noise include stress and nervousness, reduced quality of sleep, and degraded performance.
April 27 is observed as International Noise Awareness Day.