Today is World No-Horn Day and on this occasion, MG Road – one of the busiest stretches in Kochi, has been declared as a no-horn zone.
This is the first time that such an initiative has been launched in Kerala.
The official announcement in this regard was made by Kochi Metro Rail Limited (KMRL) Managing Director APM Mohammed Hanish on Thursday. The spot from Madhava Pharmacy Junction to Maharajas’ metro station has been declared horn free.
After making the declaration, Hanish came on the road and gave directions to the drivers. He also spoke about the ill-effects of sound pollution and distributed pamphlets. Students of SCMS college placed no-horn stickers on vehicles and gave pamphlets as well.
The initiative has been undertaken in association with Indian Medical Association (IMA), National Initiative for Safe Sound, Kochi Metro and Kochi City Police. “With effective intervention and awareness, sound pollution can be reduced to a great extent,” Hanish said.
A study led by Kochi City traffic assistant commissioner MA Nazeer, IMA Kochi branch, SCMS Group of Institutions, Little Flower Hospital, Angamaly, and Association of Otolaryngologists of India, which was done among the traffic police officers of Kochi, revealed that 75% of them showed symptoms of hearing loss due to sound pollution.
Nazeer said that the results of the study underscore the importance of minimising the sound intensity of Kochi to 65 decibels – the maximum allowed sound limit.
On Monday, Ernakulam was declared as the first ‘air-horn-free’ district in the state.
Transport Minister AK Saseendran made the announcement after inaugurating the 29th Road Safety Week campaign in Kochi.
Following the announcement, Motor Vehicles Department sources said action would be recommended under the Kerala Police Act against vehicles using air-horn over 92 decibels as well as shops selling such horns.
Incidentally, Mizoram’s capital Aizawl is India’s first city with a no-honking policy and that too, it is a completely people-driven initiative.