Honking “needlessly or continuously” in the state may soon become a punishable offence. The government Thursday informed the Bombay High Court that it was awaiting presidential assent for implementation of provisions under Maharashtra Transport and Road Safety Act, 2017, which penalise needless honking.
Appearing for the state, advocate general A A Kumbhakoni said that Section 20 of the Act prohibits drivers from sounding horns “needlessly or continuously or more than what is necessary to ensure safety,” besides honking in silence zones and using multi-toned horns that create harsh, shrill, loud or alarming noises. Drivers are also prohibited from driving vehicles with modified exhaust silencers, which make them noisier.
Section 23 of the Act provides penalty of Rs 2,000 for each of the contravention. The High Court is hearing a bunch of petitions related to violation of noise pollution rules, especially during the festival season.
Kumbhakoni further informed the court that the state has decided to conduct noise mapping of 27 cities across Maharashtra.
According to an affidavit filed by the state government, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has issued work orders to NEERI for the noise mapping, and data base for the task has been created in 22 of the 27 cities.
While noise monitoring has already started in Nagpur, it will begin in nine other cities covered in the first phase by next week. These include Mumbai, Navi Mumbai, Thane, Kalyan, Mira Bhayandar, Vasai-Virar, Ulhasnagar, Bhiwandi-Nizampur and Panvel.