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HindustanTimes Sat,23 Aug 2014

Noise pollution: city suffers in silence

Rameshinder Singh Sandhu, Hindustan Times  Amritsar, August 22, 2013
First Published: 01:03 IST(22/8/2013) | Last Updated: 01:04 IST(22/8/2013)

Who doesn't like peaceful environment, yet who doesn't contribute to noise pollution. Banned pressure horns and heavy motorcycles continue to disturb the city's silence.

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As the level of noise has risen, traffic police have gone deaf to complaints. "Even when the traffic is held up, people keep honking. They need to understand that logjams take time to clear," said social activist Brij Bedi.

Simran Sandhu lived in Australia for eight years before moving to Guru Nanak Dev University to study business management. He laments the needless horns. "Down under, no one honks because it is rude, while in India, it's the norm. It's tough on my ears and bad for the environment," said the student.

"Because of the noisy environment, cases of deafness are rising," said Dr Sartaj Singh, a government physician. "Our ears are getting exposed to excessive noise levels on continuous basis and sleep and mental peace are being disturbed," he added.

Bullet motorcycles now are banned on the Guru Nanak Dev University campus because of the noise they make. These motorcycles, however, continue to ply on the city roads, including those that run through residential areas. Senior citizens find the booming sound of its engine distressing.
 
"People blow horn continuously even outside educational institutions and hospitals," said lawyer Deshbir Singh. "No one stops them, which is shocking," he added. Baljeet Singh Randhawa of traffic police said the department did penalise people who honked without reason, but regarding silence zones, he said that the municipal corporation had not marked any, be it outside schools or hospitals.

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