The government is considering hefty penalty to curb honking menace and experts have called for a holistic approach to bring down the deafening noise pollution level
Rahul Dass | June 29, 2016 | New Delhi
The cacophony of noises on roads has finally woken up the government, which is now mulling a fine of Rs.500 for honking needlessly and a much steeper fine of Rs 5,000 for having an ear-shattering air horn. The dealers who install such horns will face a fine of Rs 1 lakh, reports Times of India. But that may not be enough to tackle the frightening noise pollution levels, say experts.
“There are rules regarding honking, but nobody follows those rules,” rues Ravi Bhatia who runs a campaign against honking.
Bhatia, who is the founder of The Earth Saviours Foundation, said that the supreme court has already passed an order against noise pollution. “There is a ban on honking near schools, colleges, hospitals, research centres and even at traffic signals.”
“What we now need is strict enforcement,” he said. He said that penalty amount being considered by the government is “ok”.
“People must be made aware to use horns only during emergency. Motorists need to be trained. Also, pressure horns must be completely banned in the country. The authorities must ensure that the loud pressure horns are not available in the market. Only low-intensity horns should be allowed,” he said.
He called for a systemic change and said that a sustained campaign needs to be run across the country to ensure that noise levels come down.
Dr TK Joshi, director, Centre for Occupational and Environnmental Health at Maulana Azad Medical College, told Governance Now that heavy penalty is a right step, “but the question is of poor enforcement”.
Honking of horns should be banned at night. “We need a holistic approach to tackle noise pollution. We seem to be following a piece-meal approach. It is not pro-active, it is reactive.”
The doctor said that a few years back they had carried out a study which showed that Presbycusis, which is age-related hearing loss, are being reported at the age of 60, while it generally sets in after 75 years.
“Noise pollution has an auditory impact like noise induced hearing loss and people don’t get good quality sleep. Equally important is the non-auditory impact like annoyance and irritation,” he said.
See | Noise level at 40 locations in Delhi
According to dangerousdecibels.org, noise-induced hearing loss can be caused by a one-time exposure to loud sound as well as by repeated exposure to sounds at various loudness levels over an extended period of time. “Damage happens to the microscopic hair cells found inside the cochlea. These cells respond to mechanical sound vibrations by sending an electrical signal to the auditory nerve. Different groups of hair cells are responsible for different frequencies (rate of vibrations). The healthy human ear can hear frequencies ranging from 20Hz to 20,000 Hz.”
It said that sound pressure is measured in decibels (dB). “Like a temperature scale, the decibel scale goes below zero. The average person can hear sounds down to about 0 dB, the level of rustling leaves. Some people with very good hearing can hear sounds down to -15 dB. If a sound reaches 85 dB or stronger, it can cause permanent damage to your hearing. The amount of time you listen to a sound affects how much damage it will cause.”
The Railways was unable to meet its operational cost of passenger and other coaching services. During 2014-15, there was a loss of Rs 33,821.70 crore on passenger and other coaching services. The freight services earned a profit of Rs 38,312.59 crore which indicated that 88.28 percent
Seasoned BJP parliamentarian Nand Kumar Sai, who took charge as the chairperson of the National Commission for Scheduled Tribes (NCST) on February 28, has his work cut out for him. Archana Mishra caught up with Sai, 71, on his first day in office where he
Should there be automatic termination as member of parliament if that person takes oath as minister/chief minister in a state?
When the truth was a few steps away from Modi’s gaze In November 2014, prime minister Narendra Modi made his first visit to his constituency Varanasi and launched a massive cleanliness drive at Asi ghat, which was covered in mud and silt. When locals sa
India has slipped one spot in the Human Development Index 2016. India’s HDI value for 2015 is 0.624 — which put the country in the medium human development category - positioning it at 131 out of 188 countries and territories. Between 1990 and 2015,
An appeal was made to PSUs to contribute funds under their CSR Scheme towards Health Minister’s Cancer Patient Fund-CSR for treatment of poor cancer patients. India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL) contributed an amount of Rs 7.5 crore in 2015-16.