Shor in the city

motorist-stuck-in-a-traffic“Do you buy vehicles based on their power of honking?” this was the question put to me by one of my global CIO who happened to visit India couple of weeks back. He stays in Australia and he was visiting India for the second time after almost 9 years. “Is there no fine for too much honking?” “Why do motorist honk so much when they know the car is going to crawl?” I was bombarded with so many questions and I was in a fix as to what to respond.

The only answer I could come up with was there were so many pedestrians and bikers and hence to avoid any untoward incidents, the horn is used. It was an embarrassing moment for me as I am well aware that rest of the countries honking is an offence. During my brief stay in America I had noticed it that honking is not at all allowed. Although I did hear a fair bit of cars honking in New York – but nothing compares to what you hear in India.

The very next day I checked on the noise level in the city and was shocked to read that a recent report published by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) last month revealed startling facts about noise level in the city. A four years long study, CPCB concluded that Mumbai is India’s noisiest city, also has the dubious distinction of being one of the noisiest in the world. The worrying fact is that the noise level exceeds the prescribed allowable level by 100 percent. If such high level decibels persist then it’ll harm us only in near future.

India is a country which celebrates so many different festivals across all religions and hence the celebrations of these do add up the noise levels in the city. It will help all of us if we all understand the impact of the higher decibels and celebrate all the festivals by trying to control the noise level within the limited range.

The most and highest noise pollution is of honking. If all the motorist try and reduce the amount of honking during their traveling it will definitely help reduce the decibels in the city. Just imagine the conditions of the police man/woman who are on duty and controlling traffic. These are the people who bear the brunt of it all.

When in Dubai last year, I did feel the peace while walking / traveling on road as here too honking is banned. In Mumbai too when I am driving I feel better when my car windows are closed.

The other day when I was out with my daughter & niece in the car, I stopped at the signal; a public transport bus next to us was continuously honking. It was a shock for me to hear my niece (6 years old) and my daughter (11 years old) discussing on noise pollution. My niece also mentioned, that in school they too have been taught on the harmful effects of noise pollution. And it left me wondering – if the kids knew it, how come the adults don’t or do they just not pay heed to it all?

Well, it’s about time the Motor Vehicles Department (RTO) of our country, brings out an awareness campaign against noise pollution & also implements stringent laws against unnecessary honking and ensure that we all abide to the rules and there reduce all that “shor” (which means noise) in the city.


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