Traffic police to check vehicles for noise pollution too

Traffic police to check vehicles for noise pollution too

The City police are planning to monitor noise pollution at the traffic junctions using hand-held noise meters in order to record the decibel level and penalise the offenders.

Low-cost noise meters have already been purchased although doubts persist over the capacity of these meters in recording accurate noise levels, official sources said on Thursday.

At a recent meeting held between the Transport department and the Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB), certain measures were discussed to check noise pollution. The meeting also decided to recommend a hike in the fine for those causing noise pollution. Such acts include unnecessary honking on the road, having a defective silencer, shrill horn or even the reverse gear music indicator in vehicles.

Under the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, the traffic police collect an amount of Rs 300 for two-wheelers and three-wheelers, Rs 600 for four-wheelers and Rs 800 for heavy vehicles. However, the official chose not to comment on incidents where the traffic police collect just Rs 100 and let the offender off. 

The traffic police in the City have booked over 22,978 cases of defective silencer since 2012, including 11,009 cases in 2012, 10,934 cases in 2013 and 1,035 cases in 2014.

For vehicles with shrill horns, 28,621 cases have been booked including 13,886 cases in 2012, 12,660 cases in 2013 and 2,075 cases in 2014. In the past five years, 7,53,222 vehicles have been checked and over 16,964 cases booked. Over 1,199 autorickshaws have been found with tampered silencers and over 288 autorickshaws have been seized. An amount of 83,74,079 have been collected in the City.Not ‘competent authority’

According to an official from KSPCB, the board was not the “competent authority” to check the noise levels as per a government order in 2002. Only the police force is authorised to carry out the drive. However, the High Court has asked the KSPCB to take action under the ambient air quality standards in respect of noise for different areas/zones under the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000.  

Vaman Acharya, chairman, KSPCB, says that although there are bifurcations made as silent, residential, commercial and industrial and different limits of noise level, they seem to be only on paper. 

“We do not have proper zoning system in the City, there is a need for the board and BBMP to bifurcate the zones depending on the area and monitor noise levels accordingly,” he added.

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