Pune: Concerns are mounting among residents of Kalyani Nagar as Team Swachh Kalyaninagar (TSKN) raises an alarm over the glaring absence of “no honking” and “silence zone” signage boards within the vicinity of schools and hospitals. The disturbing lack of these essential markers has led to incessant honking by vehicles in areas designated as quiet zones.
In accordance with the Motor Vehicles Amendment Act (MVAA) of 2019, Section 194F mandates fines of Rs 1000 for the first violation and Rs 2000 for subsequent offences related to continuous or unnecessary honking in no-honking zones. However, the omission of proper signage has inadvertently led to drivers’ ignorance of this law.
Compounding the issue, certain restaurants located near preschools have been granted licenses to serve alcohol. This has resulted in intoxicated patrons roaming the area, creating a hazardous situation with potential accidents, and negatively influencing the impressionable young students attending nearby schools.
Hospitals in Kalyani Nagar, where critical surgeries are performed, are not immune to the constant noise pollution emanating from honking vehicles. Patients within these medical facilities require a serene environment for their recovery, but the absence of “no honking” signs has exacerbated the issue.
Adding to the problem, instances have been reported of bikers purposefully revving their engines to produce loud noises while passing through silence zones, exhibiting blatant disregard for the law. Such actions disrupt the tranquility of the area and jeopardize the safety of pedestrians and other road users.
Speaking with Pune Pulse, Jaffar Iqbal, Founder Member of Team Swachh Kalyaninagar, commented, “A majority of these loud silencers belong to Royal Enfield bikes, and the noise they create is unbearable, particularly during late hours. Residents have documented evidence to report to the traffic division for necessary actions. Traffic police PI Sankhe has cooperated by conducting night patrols to apprehend offenders. The traffic department confiscated over 100 silencers two months ago.”
The concerns voiced encompass a range of issues including compromised focus and learning, violations of silence zone regulations, noise pollution, adverse impacts on young minds, traffic congestion, environmental consequences, health effects, inadequate signaling, patient rest and recovery, ambulance accessibility, peaceful surroundings, and ethical considerations.
The detriments of honking within silence zones extend beyond mere inconvenience; they intersect with health, safety, education, and communal well-being. Implementing stricter enforcement of regulations and heightening awareness about the adverse effects of honking in these zones are pivotal measures in fostering more harmonious and favorable environments for all.
Residents are urgently urging relevant authorities to take swift action by installing appropriate “no honking” and “silence zone” signage boards within schools and hospitals in Kalyani Nagar. Moreover, a robust implementation of the MVAA of 2019 is necessary to dissuade drivers from indulging in unnecessary honking within these zones. This proactive approach will not only ensure the safety and welfare of the community but also cultivate a serene and conducive atmosphere for both learning and healing.