Over 6000 fined for honking in Mumbai
Mumbai, April 08: It was a well-publicised 'No Honking Day' in Mumbai, but the daily cacophony continued as usual on the roads of this eastern metropolis Monday, the traffic police registering over 6,195 cases for honking.
'During the day of the campaign, 6,195 motorists were penalised for not following no-honking rules,' Deputy Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Shahaji Solunke told reporters.
He said the traffic police fined Rs100 for honking without reason and Rs.500 for excessive honking. However, Solunke could not immediately provide the total money garnered through the penalties.
Sumaira Abdulali, head of voluntary organisation Awaaz that is part of the 'No Honking' initiative in the city, said there were mixed reactions to the unique drive supported by Mumbai Police.
'In high traffic areas of south Mumbai like Byculla and VT, there was hardly any difference and the vehicle drivers continued to honk as usual. In these areas, we recorded 86 decibels of sound which is usual,' she said as the campaign ended.
But in a few places in north Mumbai like Bandra and Mahim where a large number of volunteers were active in creating awareness, the campaign was 'successful', Sumaira said.
Shortly after the initiative was announced, nearly 50 voluntary organisations, citizen groups, corporate houses, college and school students came forward to support the campaign.
'In Mahim, the sound level usually is up to 95 decibels, but Monday it dipped to 78,' she said.
Mumbai has a whopping 1.5 million vehicles, including 110,000 auto-rickshaws and 55,000 taxis, according to Solunke.
Mumbai Police and other agencies had distributed over 100,000 stickers on no honking initiative in English, Hindi and Marathi to vehicle owners.
'Mumbai suffers from high noise pollution level. A series of tests conducted by us has shown that it is between 65 decibels (lowest) and 95 (highest), both in residential and industrial areas. The limits are 55 for residential and 85 for industrial areas,' Sumaira added.
Sumaira expressed the need for preparing a 'noise map of Mumbai' which the state government must implement with adequate noise pollution control measures.
'The nation is already paying heavily for the high noise pollution levels that we live with. All stress related disorders, heart problems or hearing defects are directly connected to noise pollution,' she said.