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Heat on honkers,high jump in fines

The next time you feel the urge to lean on the horn while behind the wheel,beware that you could end up paying fines like thousands of others who have been hauled up this year.

The next time you feel the urge to lean on the horn while behind the wheel,beware that you could end up paying fines like thousands of others who have been hauled up this year.

The traffic police,having initiated a massive drive to enforce no-honking rules in the newly-created silent zones across the city,have fined 29,166 offenders this year alone till February 15 and has collected a fine of Rs 2.78 lakh.

Compared to last year’s figures of 41,814 honking cases throughout the year,there has been a six-fold increase in the number of honkers being fined every day,especially since the demarcation of silent zones following orders from the Bombay High Court. The traffic authority had collected Rs 31,29,200 as fines in 2008.

The figures were disclosed by Commissioner of Police (Traffic) Harish Baijal at a meeting,chaired by Principal Secretary (Home Department) Anna Dani,last month. The minutes of the meeting have been submitted to the High Court,which is hearing a public interest litigation filed by NGO Awaaz Foundation alleging that the authorities have failed to control noise pollution in the city.

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The meeting was scheduled following a court order to form a committee with officials from various departments of the state government,BMC,MPCB and the Commissioner of Police as members. The court had asked them to chalk out a notification to identify ‘silent zones’ . The noise pollution regulation,issued by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forest,requires the creation of such zones around hospitals,religious places and schools,among other places.

The minutes state that officers of various urban bodies like the MMRDA,MPCB,MHADA,CIDCO,BMC,New Town Planning Authority and Special Planning Authority will be identified for allocation of work for preventing and controlling noise pollution,along with the police station in-charge.

The BMC has been designated to demarcate silent zones,the MPCB for public awareness and the DGP to file cases against violation of noise pollution Act and implementing the current laws and also to examine amendment to Bombay Police Act. “The DGP and CP have been requested to send proposals for banning high-decibel crackers and loud horns,” the minutes say.

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There is also a proposal to raise the penalty for unnecessary honking,which has been forwarded to the Centre by the Deputy Secretary (Transport). The court had,during the last hearing,asked the government and its various departments to look into the issue of helipads on buildings and demarcation of religious places with regard to the noise pollution rules. The case will now come up for hearing on April 30.

41,814
Honking cases in 2008
115
Cases per day
29,166
Honking cases from
Jan 1 to Feb 15,2009
634
Cases per day

First published on: 11-04-2009 at 02:25:27 am
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