Constables were seen distributing pamphlets about the drive on the first day, but many vehicle drivers and riders were quite flummoxed as they have not yet had the chance to absorb or understand the new ruling
The No Honk Day drive announced by Mumbai Commissioner of Police Sanjay Pandey kicked off last week. Every Wednesday will now be observed as No Honk Day, and those found violating it will face strict action. When this paper looked at the on-ground situation last week most Mumbaikars were unaware of this no-honk rule, designed to mitigate noise pollution, and were shocked to learn that honking could attract fines. Motorists also shared that it was impossible to not honk in a crowded city like Mumbai where no one abides by the rules.
Constables were seen distributing pamphlets about the drive on the first day, but many vehicle drivers and riders were quite flummoxed as they have not yet had the chance to absorb or understand the new ruling.
Cabbies too did not understand the rule and one must admit there is a grey area between necessary and unnecessary honking, with many despairing of the Rs 1,000 fine.
One does salute a commissioner who is trying his best to bring about some change in the city. Sound pollution has several detrimental effects and is certainly a factor in emotional and physical health.
Yet, maybe we need some time before fines can and should be imposed as one does agree that honking has become a habit for many, but some arguments about being unable to do without honking do make sense. Perhaps the first aspect is that there should be much more awareness about no-honking Wednesday, only then can fines and penalties come in.
Small lanes and alleyways can have the rule implemented first, then some decisions can be made about what to do on other roads. Every transformation is bumpy at first, but a little more ironing out of this rule, addressing grey areas and greater clarity for all is needed to ensure no-honk Wednesdays are successful.