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.