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Ban hooters before we fall deaf
Sunita Aron
February 18, 2006
First Published: 00:21 IST(19/2/2006)
Last Updated: 00:21 IST(19/2/2006)

HOW DO you live in Uttar Pradesh? Haven’t you gone deaf by now? The question surprised us as it came from Bihar that notoriously tops the list of BIMARU states.

Apparently the residents of the neighbouring state were angry over the noise created by SP ministers and public representatives on the roads of Patna, where the national convention of the party was held sometime back.  “We could neither sleep nor work as the obnoxious sound of the hooters disturbed us no end. Law does not permit them to use such blaring pressure horns and hooters”, said the harassed lot who saw majority of the status-conscious UP leaders racing up and down the roads in their swanky cars.

Imagine people talking about law in a state where kidnapping, loot, murder etc are the order of the day, a state that has the distinction of high-profile theatrical leaders like Laloo Prasad Yadav, Rabri Devi and Ram Vilas Paswan. But certainly all those who believed Bihar to be worse than UP in all aspects have been proven wrong.

Now the question: Why have we not fallen deaf by now? Ask the residents of Dilkusha Colony, tucked right in the corner of the otherwise deserted Cantonment area. Between two and three every night they are literally jolted out of their sleep by unbearable sound of hooters. The blaring sound gets switched off for a minute thereafter which it again starts till it dissipates with distance. By now all know the minister returns home midnight. Really works hard! What they don’t know is as to who has authorised the minister as well as the pilot car to use hooters, that too at an hour when not a single soul is there on the road? Also why the cops have not been penalised for using hooters on their way back home after dropping the minister? This play of power game is not restricted to Dilkusha Colony, but is spread all over the state, including areas adjacent to hospitals.

However, who can answer these questions? Not the minister as he is insensitive to the people’s sufferings.

Not the government, as it doesn’t have any remorse for brazenly breaking laws it formulates. They, the lawmakers, neither respect the law nor the judiciary. They are perhaps oblivious of the fact that use of hooters is permitted for a few, for others it has been banned by the high court. However, if members of judiciary too are found flouting their own orders, what can be expected from the common man!

It’s high time the courts are reminded of their own orders, it’s high time the government implements the order or else the long list of pollution driven ailments would include one’s like ear disorders.

In fact the need of the hour is to take noise pollution as seriously as that of air, water etc. A recent environmental study has revealed that every third district in the state is heavily polluted. Topping the list of polluted district is Kanpur and much of the blame goes to its title of industrial city. Isn’t it surprising that the pollution levels have gone up while majority of the industries have turned sick and the city has also lost its status of industrial city? The other highly polluted districts are Lucknow, where sits the government, Mathura, Ghaziabad, Meerut, Saharanpur, Bulandshahr, Badaiun, Moradabad, Agra, Aligarh and Bareilly.

Incidentally, noise pollution was taken up as a part of the study.

It’s strange status-conscious people in power don’t realise that they too consume the same water, food, breathe the same air and bear the same noise pollution. If it can harm the common man, it can harm them too. One really hopes that they also get health conscious, realise their responsibilities and take concrete steps to check pollution of all kinds.

Noise pollution can be easily reduced to half if they strictly ban use of hooters, pressure horns etc for all or else the courts should wake up, slap some contempt notices and issue penalties that would be remembered for times to come. After all even this is a crime, that too of a heinous nature.

 


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