On Monday, October 4, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari announced his plan of formulating a law under which only the sound of Indian musical instruments can be used as a horn for vehicles.
At a highway inauguration ceremony in Nashik, Maharashtra, Gadkari mentioned about replacing sirens used by ambulances and police vehicles with something more pleasant tune played on All Indian Radio.
He added that just as he put an end to red beacons, he wants to put an end to sirens as well. "Now I am studying the sirens (used by) ambulances and police. An artist composed a tune of Akashwani (All Indian Radio), and it was played early in the morning. I am thinking of using that tune for ambulances so that people feel pleasant. It is so irritating, especially after ministers pass by, the sirens are used at full volume. This also harms the ears," he added.
"I am studying this and soon planning to make a law that the horns of all vehicles should be in Indian musical instruments so that it is pleasant to hear. Flute, tabla, violin, mouth organ, harmonium...," Gadkari said.
Source Of Pollution
Relentless honking is a major source of noise pollution. At present, the noise range for most vehicle horns is currently fixed between 93 decibels (dB) and 112 dB. Rule 5A(1) of the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, states that there can be no honking in silence zones or at night in residential areas except during a public emergency.
The rules define""silence zone"" as an area within 100 metres of any hospitals, educational institutions, courts, religious places or any other area declared as such by the competent authority. Rule 23 of the Motor Vehicles (Driving) Regulations, 2017, prohibits unnecessary use of horn. It also provides that the horn be sounded only when a driver apprehends danger to himself or to any other road user. The penal provisions for contravention of these rules are given in Section 15 of the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, and Section 190 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, respectively, which ranges from a fine of ₹ 1,000 to imprisonment up to five years.