Motorists will soon have to pay Rs 2,000 fine for needless honking, noisy exhausts
The Maharashtra Transport and Road Safety Act 2017, which imposes a Rs 2,000 penalty on excessive honking, is awaiting presidential nod, the Maharashtra government told the Bombay High Court on Thursday.
The act is aimed at penalising needless honking by vehicles and reducing noise pollution, among other things.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni told a division bench of justices A S Oka and Vibha Kankanwadi that the Act has been passed by the Maharashtra Assembly in April this year but is yet to be implemented as the state government is waiting for presidential assent to it.
The section 20 of the Act prohibits drivers from honking “needlessly or continuously or more than what is necessary to ensure safety” besides honking in silence zones and using multi-toned horns that create harsh, shrill, loud or alarming noise.
The act also prohibits from driving vehicles with mufflers or modified exhaust silencers, which make it more noisy.
The section 23 of the Act provides penalty of Rs 2,000 for each of the violations.
The government apprised the court of its wait for the presidential assent to the law during hearing of a bunch of petitions seeking strict implementation of the Noise Pollution Rules especially during the festive occasions like Ganeshotsav, Navratri and Dahi Handi.
Maharashtra Regional Transport Office, meanwhile, has already issued directions to not register a vehicle with any modifications that take the noise beyond the permissible limit.
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has also reportedly installed noise monitoring stations at ten locations across the city. The realtime data is displayed at five locations, in addition to the MPCB’s and Central Pollution Control Board’s websites.
The noise mapping initiative will be extended to 27 cities across Maharashtra soon.