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Sound pollution from vehicle horns: NGT slams cops for non-compliance

MPCB laid down standards on July 31, 2014 on the use of horns, sirens and multi-toned horns for vehicles

Written by Sadaf Modak | Mumbai | Published: March 10, 2016 3:16:40 am

THE NATIONAL Green Tribunal rapped the director general of police and the motor transport department of the police for their failure to show compliance details on a 2014 notification issued laying down the standards of sirens, motor-horns and horns (sound signals) used in motor vehicles across the state.

The NGT’s Western Zone bench of Justice Jawad Rahim and expert member Ajay A Deshpande had directed the DGP to depute an authorised person to be present before the tribunal to furnish documents regarding compliance of the notification. It had also directed authorities of the motor transport department to place a list of all state vehicles which use sirens.

A need was felt for issuing standards in the state for sirens, including those of ambulances and other emergency services, after it was found that there was no mechanism to monitor them.

Experts had said with no such standard, sirens were aggravating noise-pollution levels in cities. Following an NGT order, the Maharashtra Pollution Control Board laid down standards on July 31, 2014 on the use of horns, sirens and multi-toned horns for vehicles plying in the city.

Dileep Nevatia, the applicant in the case, had alleged that despite the notification being published two years ago, the standards are not being implemented at the ground level.

The NGT had, therefore, sought a compliance report from various authorities. On Monday, a police inspector was sent to the NGT and the cop sought further time to file a compliance report through an affidavit.

The list sought from the motor transport department of the Maharashtra Police too was not submitted. “Serious view be taken before we proceed further as a last chance,” the NGT observed before reiterating that no adjournment will be granted to authorities in the next hearing on March 22.

In the previous hearing, the transport department had informed the NGT that various steps had been initiated to ensure enforcement, including allowing only those vehicles which have a compliance certificate and a sticker pasted on approved sirens before affixing them on any vehicle.

The department is also in the process of developing a mobile application to allow registering of complaints by the public, if they notice any vehicle violating the rules.

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