Vehicles with noisy horns in Mumbai won’t get fitness certificates, says transport dept
Department to ban shrill, multi-toned, loud horns so as to curb noise pollution and prevent motorists from honking incessantly
MUMBAI Updated: Dec 06, 2017 15:03 IST
Mumbai RTOs have identified 52 busy junctions in the city, where officials will be deployed to prevent motorists from honking and check noise levels. (HT File)
To curb noise pollution from incessant honking, the transport department has decided to ban shrill, multi-toned and loud horns from vehicles — old and new. Officials said fitness certificates will not be issued to vehicles violating the norm.
The regional transport offices (RTOs) of Maharashtra Motor Vehicle Department (MMVD) have initiated a month-long campaign – No honking (Horn Nako) to urge motorists to refrain from incessant honking.
At present, there are no rules on permissible sound levels for honking or vehicular noise at traffic junctions in India. Horns in Mumbai emanate noise as high as 110 decibels (dB) – equal to the noise levels at a rock concert.
Manoj Saunik, principal secretary, state transport and ports department, told HT that all vehicles will have to abide to the 87dB(A) noise limit with just 13dB(A) limit for horns over the engine noise of 74dB(A), as per existing rules under the Motor Vehicles Act.
“People are honking incessantly, and this needs to stop,” said Saunik. “While registering vehicles, we will check the noise level of the horns. If norms are violated, they will be removed. But if a vehicle owner insist on keeping a noisy horn, fitness certificates (for the vehicle) will not be issued, and he/she may be fined.”
Saunik added that in a situation where noise levels from horns do not breach existing rules, during registration, but are modified later, the vehicle owner will be tracked and appropriate action will be initiated.
“Fitting multi-toned and shrill horns has been disallowed under transport rule provisions. If any vehicle fitted with such unauthorised or illegally fitted horns are found during renewal of fitness certificates, such horns need to be removed and the vehicle should not be passed until legally acceptable horn is fitted. These instructions need to be strictly followed with immediate effect,” read the instruction issued by the department on Tuesday.
Saunik added the Mumbai RTO identified 52 busy traffic junctions in Mumbai where officers will be stationed to prevent motorists from honking and check noise levels.
“The process began on Monday. We want citizens to support this campaign, during which we will request them not to honk with the ultimate goal of having a quieter city. Once we receive citizens’ support, those violating the norm will be fined and it will serve as deterrence to others,” he said.
Non-governmental organisation Awaaz Foundation, which conducted several anti-honking campaigns in the city, met Saunik and other officials from the transport department on Tuesday. “It is good that the RTO and the government are taking initiative against honking and will support our campaign as well. While awareness is extremely important, and we have been pushing for a complete stop on honking, enforcement is equally important. If both these aspects do not go side-by-side, then such a campaign cannot be effective,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.
Horns, not OK, please
HT had reported in February this year that the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) banned pressure, multi-toned and musical vehicle horns. In a notification to state pollution boards and the police in Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Bangalore, Lucknow, Navi Mumbai and Thane, the CPCB said that drivers should not be allowed to honk needlessly, continuously or more than necessary, especially in silence zones.
Did you know?
13,883: Cases related to incessant honking and use of pressure, musical or reverse horns were filed by traffic police in 2016
Rs15.79 lakh: Amount collected in fines between January and December
Mumbai’s Mahim Fair noisiest in five years, loudest festival this year
Mumbai NGO Awaaz Foundation filed complaints at the Mahim police station after members of a procession used loudspeakers and drums
MUMBAI Updated: Dec 04, 2017 20:50 IST
Mahim residents said a police procession kept making loud noise till 9pm on Sunday.(HT File)
Noise levels during this year’s Mahim Fair (Mahim Dargah Urus) on Sunday were as loud as a thunderclap at 122.5 decibels (dB), making it the loudest festival this year and the loudest Mahim Fair in five years, said anti-noise activists.
Police said they booked a group of Dharavi residents as they were violating noise norms.
“On receiving complaints, we filed an FIR against the group that had come from Dharavi, issued them a notice, and confiscated their instruments. We will now submit these details in court,” said Milind Idekar, senior police inspector, Mahim police station.
The 10-day annual festival’s inaugural procession begins at Mahim police station, with officers carrying an offering of sandalwood paste, perfume, flowers, silver utensils and a silk chaddar honouring Sufi saint Makhdoom Ali Mahimi at his dargah.
NGO Awaaz Foundation filed complaints at the Mahim police station after members of a procession staged around 4.15pm at Cadell Road used loudspeakers and drums. “While decibel levels were high, the noise was stopped within 10 minutes of my complaint. It was unclear whose procession it was,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation. “I recorded noise levels at the same road around 7pm and there were no loudspeakers or drums audible,” she added.
Mahim residents said a police procession kept making loud noise till 9pm on Sunday. “After Abdulali’s complaint, the noise stopped between 6am and 7am. From 7am onwards, the police, and a few others staging a procession, used loudspeakers, drums, and banjos for a long time,” said Zafar Khan, Mahim resident.
The police, however, said they did not use loudspeakers or any musical instruments and were only singing.“We warned two other processions, which stopped playing music immediately,” said Idekar.
“A week before the fair, we told police to take precautionary measures to ensure noise levels were not breached. However, noise levels were still above 120dB,” said Farooque Dhala, a resident.
Last year, the Mahim Fair registered 117.3 dB from a police procession close to the police station. On May 24, ruling that “no breach of noise pollution norms in the city will be tolerated”, no matter what the occasion, the Bombay high court issued show-cause notices of contempt against the senior inspector of the Mahim police station, and assistant commissioner of police (ACP) Mahim division, for using loudspeakers inside the police station compound during the fair.
This year’s Eid celebrations in Mumbai quietest in 5 years
Non-government organisation (NGO) Awaaz Foundation, which recorded noise levels at six locations on Saturday, found celebrations at Dockyard Road in Mazgaon the loudest at 105.2dB
MUMBAI Updated: Dec 03, 2017 20:22 IST
Haji Ali dargah was lit up in green on the occasion of Eid on Saturday.(Pramod Thakur/HT Photo)
This year’s Eid-e-Milad celebrations in the city were the quietest since 2013, according to anti-noise campaigners.
Non-government organisation (NGO) Awaaz Foundation, which recorded noise levels at six locations on Saturday, found celebrations at Dockyard Road in Mazgaon the loudest at 105.2dB, thanks to the use of loudspeakers. The readings at the remaining locations were in the range of 92dB to 102dB. The levels were much lower than previous years, as the stretch between JJ Hospital and Crawford Market recorded 111.5dB in 2016.
Noise can affect the health and well-being of citizens and continuous exposure to levels above 80dB can lead to partial hearing loss, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). According to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, residential areas should have a maximum noise level of 55dB in the day and 45dB at night.
Activists said although most trucks were mounted with loudspeakers, very few were in use. “The readings show the police can implement noise rules. All processions had loudspeakers, but they were not switched on. People have started to recognize the noise meter now. Loudspeakers were turned off in many areas on seeing the meter. This gives the Mumbai police an impetus to use these meters widely across all festivals,” said Sumaira Abdulali, convener, Awaaz Foundation.
The activist added that honking was continuous at many locations. “Noise from pedestrian traffic and motorcycles was high with people driving recklessly and blocking major roads, especially at Mohammed Ali Road, which recorded 95dB noise,” she said.
Meanwhile, residents said processions and movement of vehicles near the Lalbaug flyover was extremely loud between 9pm and 10pm on Saturday. “Honking from bikes and the use of loudspeakers continued for more than an hour,” said Jagdish Sawant, Lalbaug resident. “We informed the police and civic body. Thankfully, noise levels went down completely by 11pm.”
Mumbai police officials said they had carried out awareness drives in advance to tackle noise pollution during Eid. “Directions were issued to various groups much before Eid. We ensured police personnel were deployed in areas where noise levels were high during previous years,” said Deepak Deoraj, deputy commissioner of police (operations) and Mumbai police spokesperson.
Awaaz Foundation recorded noise levels during the first day of the Mahim Fair on Sunday during the police sandal, and readings will be released on M
Awaaz Foundation's anti- noise pollution campaign has been covered extensively in the Press and media since 2003.