Modified silencers, horns under lens
Pic for representational purpose
DEVASHRI BHUJBAL | Sun, 29 Jan 2017-07:25amThe state environment department has taken serious note of noise pollution by modified silencers and horns of two wheelers.
The department has addressed a letter to the Mumbai Police Commissioner and the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board to take action against garage mechanics and bikers who alter bike silencers and shrill horns in Mumbai.
The department has also asked authorities submit a report of necessary actions taken on the issue. Modification is common among motorists, especially youth who modify silencers and horns of their two-wheelers making them either multiple sound-emitting or musical. For the riders, modified sound is a source attraction but for the residents it’s a nuisance.
According to Environment Protection Rules, the permittable noise levels of two-and three-wheelers is 80 dB and 82 dB for four-wheelers. Although people alter sounds for all types of vehicles, modification of silencers and horns of two-wheelers, especially high-end bikes is common in the city.
Joint Commissioner of Police (Traffic), Milind Bharambe, said, “I have not yet received a letter from the state environment department calling for action against garages modifying horns and silencers. But when we find motorists exceeding permissible noise levels for horns and silencers, we fine them. We also conduct drives to reduce noise pollution. However, no action is taken against mechanics or specific garages who help bikers alter horns and silencers. However, we will step up our drive to to control noise level.”
Sumaira Abdulali of Awaaz Foundation said, “Bikers modify their horns to go up to 100 dB, a fad which is gaining popularity. To run vehicles with sound levels above 82 dB is illegal. Police however just fine them. Even though it is against the law, police do not have any specific fine amount to be paid. The motorists pay the fine and continue using the horns,” she said.
Mumbai traffic cops to lead anti-noise campaign
VIRAT A SINGH | Tue, 10 Jan 2017-07:40am , DNA
Noise pollution activists in India's nosiest city, and its Traffic Police Department have come up with a plan of action to help Mumbai shed its infamous tag. The campaign, devised by city's Awaaz Foundation, called 'Times For Action' calls for the traffic police to begin a phase-wise action against indiscriminate honking culture and especially the use of air pressure horns.
Convenor of Awaaz Foundation Sumaira Abdulali, who has been working at the forefront, pushing for implementation of anti-noise pollution norms said, "The last year (2016) saw a lot of awareness on adverse impact of noise.
It's now time for sustained action against offenders. "We'll be working with traffic cops and are planning a major campaign called 'Time For Action' under which phase-wise action by the traffic department has been proposed."
Abdulali hopes that the Mumbai traffic police will take up noise pollution enforcement the way they took up the anti-drunk driving campaign.
"Noise pollution is a serious issue and we are planning to launch the campaign this week. We will also conduct drives and take action against those using shrill horns as well as honking without any reason," said Joint Commissioner of Police, Traffic Milind Bharambe.
"We have urged traffic cops to take sustained action against vehicles fitted with shrill horns. To ensure results, cops positioned at the traffic signal or during drives could also stop the vehicle and conduct mandatory checks on horns, and fine violators," she said.
Awaaz Foundation has also tied up with Indian Medical Association (IMA) and is urging citizens across India to take up the matter of noise pollution. "It's not just people from Mumbai who are suffering, Delhi was ranked the fourth nosiest city, and it's time every city raises the matter with the enforcing authorities," said Abdulali.
Dr MV Jagade, ENT surgeon at the JJ hospital, who has also been working on creating awareness on the health implications of noise pollution, said that studies have shown that if a person if exposed to a noise of above 80 decibels for eight hours a day for eight years, the person can suffer permanent deafness. "Noise pollution can be blamed for everything from irritability to increasing blood pressure. We are already seeing a rise in number of people coming to us with hearing related-issues The issue needs serious consideration. Since the traffic police are the enforcing authorities, they should begin action on ground. The first on their priority should be the pressure horns that are extremely dangerous, as short duration of exposure to high decibel is far more dangerous," he said.
"Having decibel metres at various traffic junctions could provide noise level reading, which can be displayed. Once people know what they are being exposed to, it can help create an impact," said Abdulali.
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Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.