Those panic and heart-wrenching ambulance sirens would be now modified to traditional sounds of the flute, the harmonium, the tabla, and the conch shell will replace the all-too-familiar screech of ambulance sounds, which was at an all-time high during the devastating second wave of the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The pleasant sounds of musical instruments will ring out on the roads announced union road transport minister, Nitin Gadkari. His new vision for the infrastructure in the city includes the planting of crore trees at the sides of a new expressway to help combat pollution, and the removal of pedestrian and animal use of the road to enable a faster route.
The new road in the Delhi-Mumbai Expressway, Gadkari described as a future “icon of New India” that will open endless opportunities for millions of people. The minister also said that local crafts and produce would be able to be showcased in the area, once the expressway is complete.
With instances of ambulance misuse on the rise, the Motor Vehicles Department is set to introduce a multi-level mechanism aimed at regulating inappropriate practices and preventing accidents. Cashing in on the COVID-19 situation, many drivers have reportedly been misusing the privilege to navigate heavy traffic. As per statistics, ambulances fall into the top four categories of vehicles that cause accidents.
Now the government is planning to implement regulatory measures. For anyone who has travelled the world, excessive automobile horn use in India will be an irritating factor. Noise pollution has become an integral part of city life. Be it noise from industries, construction sites, music systems, and loudspeakers everything contributes towards noise pollution.
The excessive usage of pressure horns in vehicles further adds to the woes. Noise from pressure horns has a severe impact on human health not only physically but psychologically as well. Frequent exposure to pressure horns can cause hearing disabilities or permanent damage to the tympanic membrane (eardrum). It is liable for stress, anxiety, high blood pressure, and hypertension. It is a cause of irritation and restlessness, especially for senior citizens and patients.
People lack patience; irritated drivers sound horns and keep honking. Youngsters drive rashly and use horns outside schools and colleges. It even causes a lot of disturbance to students, especially during exams. The excessive honking at traffic signals, railway crossings, markets, and traffic jams is unbearable. It increases the palpitation levels in many. The signboard declaring a horn-free zone is often ignored and there is no check on violators.
Government cannot take strict action against all those who are honking. Finally, the government has come up with a solution to have musical horns and sirens so that the stress levels during traffic can come down. When this will be implemented and how people can respond to such innovation only time will tell but so far the union minister has at least given a thought to make city roads stress-free. To lower the pollution level, we should begin by taking small steps. Horns cause pollution and often lead to fatal accidents. There should be some restrictions on the usage of horns. Instead of horns, dippers should be used. Traffic lights should function well. A policeman should be present in all major bazaars or areas. The police all should provide proper guidance. Only people having licenses should be allowed to drive and others must be punished.
Noise is not merely a nuisance, but a serious environmental problem and a health hazard. It needs to be controlled as it leads to fatal accidents. Guidance, counseling sessions, and advice alone cannot serve the purpose unless and until stringent action and penalty is imposed on defaulters. Government should not allow the usage of pressure horns except during an emergency.
Blaring horns are the norm on roads and add severely to the stress levels and noise pollution of the city. We are impatient and always in such a hurry that we fail to respect the rights of other road users. Knowingly or unknowingly, everyone contributes to noise pollution. Often neglected, noise pollution adversely affects human beings leading to irritation, loss of concentration. Everybody is in a hurry and is longing to reach their destination without any concern or social responsibility towards fellow travelers. Let’s hope all this will change in the coming time and we all will have pleasant musical experiences.