Quiet India Logo

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Horn? NOT Ok Please! by Sonam Singhal, republished from The Hindu

In Maharashtra, adding to noise pollution on the road will soon cost you ₹2000

On Thursday, the Bombay High Court was hearing a bunch of petitions related to the effective implementation of the Noise Pollution Rules, 2000. The Bench asked the government what it had been doing on this front.
In response, Advocate General A.A. Kumbhakoni submitted an affidavit filed by the Deputy Secretary of the state’s Home department, saying that on April 6 this year, Maharashtra’s Legislative Assembly had enacted the Maharashtra Transport and Roads Safety Act, 2017, which, among other issues, tackled the noise pollution problem.
No needless use
Section 20 of the Act says that a driver shall not use the horn needlessly or continuously or more than necessary to ensure safety, or use the horn in silence zones. It also disallows the use any multitone horn ‘giving a harsh, shrill, loud or alarming noise.’ The Act goes beyond horns: it also bans vehicle creating undue noise when in motion, the use of mufflers causing ‘alarming’ noise, and the use of cut-outs by which exhaust gases are released other than through the silencer, (The Act does not specify, thus far, how terms like hard, shrill, undue or alarming would be defined, or what volume of sound would be considered loud.)
Contravening any of these provisions, says Section 23, will attract a 2000 penalty.
The state’s Regional Transport Office has already issued directions not to register a vehicle with silencers that make noise beyond permissible limits or with multi-toned horns.
Monitoring stations
The Maharashtra Pollution Control Board (MPCB) has installed real-time continuous noise monitoring stations at 10 locations in Mumbai and the data is displayed at five locations and on MPCB’s and Central Pollution Control Board’s web sites. The MPCB will be noise-mapping 27 cities in Maharashtra, in coordination with their municipal corporations.
The Act also provides for the creation of a separate fund for road safety, which can be used for initiatives like raising public awareness about noise pollution. Under the Act, awareness will be created with, among other things, a drive in municipal schools, which will supplement efforts by the Education Department to make students aware of the ill effects of noise pollution.
The Act is not law yet; it has been forwarded for the President’s assent, which is awaited.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Times of India launches No Honking Drive

Take the Pledge here:


Saturday, March 26, 2016

Shashi Tharoor supporting "Horn Not Ok Please"

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Lord Ganesh calls for peace!

Friday, May 1, 2015

Shut up, OK, please!

'Horn OK Please' banned in Maharashtra!

The Maharashtra Government has banned the writing of 'Horn OK Please' behind vehicles--in order to discourage excessive honking and noise pollution.

Here are some news reports:

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"We are not halting / lodging on the road.  So please do not blow the horn."  ---Yours politely,  One Punekar (spotted on the road in Pune, unknown photographer)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Need for a Quieter Election Campaign!

By: Rajmohan Gandhi

If you think election sloganeering has damaged your eardrums, spare a thought for the poor candidate, whose ears are blasted all the time from up close by vociferous supporters who love loudspeakers. 

A delightful, if also comic, side to electioneering is that the future leader (at least in her own mind), who stands firmly next to the (usually exhausted) candidate on an open jeep, refuses to move, and waves in regal style to real or imaginary crowds. 

Then there are the moments of danger. Sitting in the front seat next to the driver of a fast-moving jeep, more than exhausted after several hours of walking, talking, standing and being garlanded, with no barrier of any kind between me and the swiftly-receding road to my left, I dozed off and crashed down on to that road — almost. In the final nano-second, a life-preserving instinct roused me and I survived. 

Trial by wire 

The low-hanging wires and cables under which I, standing in the jeep, was driven on multiple occasions on the narrow and uneven lanes of Krishna Nagar and Laxmi Nagar in what was romantically described as a "road show" should have strangulated or electrocuted me several times but for my nimbleness. I simultaneously waved, bowed, folded my hands, stooped, evaded and kept my balance throughout, with a smiling face, of course. 

Keen to study the succession of faces on either side — at windows, balconies, outside shops, on the road — I often forgot to wave and was often nudged by party workers to remember what I was expected to do. On one occasion, the fragile platform on which I was standing/waving/namaskaring on a moving jeep collapsed and my leg went down nine inches through broken packing-wood. 

Unsung heroes 

Scores of scars on the knees and shin and elsewhere will for months remind me of the efforts I made to get on to and out of the open space behind the jeep driver. That I emerged more or less intact was a miracle. No doubt hundreds of other candidates were similarly spared/blessed. Every election campaign possesses heroes. Mine certainly did. I cannot name them here, but there were women and men who worked 20 hours a day for my success in East Delhi, people who cooked, cleaned, served, fed, went on padyatras, gave out leaflets, raised slogans, answered questions and remained supremely confident until the final moment of voting. 

How does one thank such people? I met their counterparts in different parts of Gujarat too while I campaigned there for the Aam Aadmi Party candidates during April 18-23. 

Then there are the true friends, those who want the best for you, totally irrespective of what the outcome may mean for them, persons who assist sincerely, quietly, sensitively. There were also those whose sincerity was less than convincing. "Oho, Jai Ho, Gandhiji," they would say when encountered at a park or in their shop. "Gandhiji! Baithiye, baithiye, doodh mangaayen? Chai? Lassi?" 

While deferential on the surface and eager for me to spend time with them, they would become furious and even abusive on finding that, unwilling to spend time listening to their hostile views, I moved on to meet others truly interested. Specially valuable are the moments that teach. You think you know what life in a slum is like. Since I had not lived inside a slum, I was taught a great deal by my walks through scores of East Delhi's jhuggi-jhompri settlements. 

Rich in spirit 

Women and men who cook, bathe and wash clothes six inches from a choked drain, who start their workday early and end it late, who earn their daal-roti with the sweat of their brow, who smilingly and thoughtfully raise their children despite the negligible schooling the latter receive — these men and women form communities that can teach the rest of us endurance, ingenuity and teamwork. 

If after nearly seven decades of Independence, scores of thousands in East Delhi have to overcome such conditions every day, with what face can anyone speak of India as a great economic power? 

Ageneral election is a great gambling game that almost everyone in a nation plays: parties, candidates, citizens, the media, everyone. It exhibits passion, frenzy, proximity to violence and attempts, at times successful, to cheat. In speeches, greys are incinerated. There is space only for blacks and whites. 

However, a general election can also contain efforts, resolves and prayers for genuine change. The candidate works non-stop. So do innumerable supporters. Long after a campaign ends, a candidate's dreams are all about campaigning. 

As to how to win an election, actually it is very simple. One, cultivate a constituency for, say, 10-20 years. Two, obtain the ticket of a major party. Three, arrange for funds and winds to favour that party. 

The writer is an eminent historian and AAP candidate from East Delhi parliamentary constituency.


Monday, November 18, 2013

Please sign this petition




Please Use NO HORN
of 100 signatures

Campaign created by Debu Nayak Icon-email

One of the most irritating things that you can encounter while driving on the road is when a car behind you keeps on honking his or her horn at you for no apparent and obvious reason. Admit it, sometimes you do get angry when someone honks their car horns at you and at some point you actually used your horn when you get mad at another driver. But what are some of the specific proper uses of your car's horn? Is there really a right time to use them? Let me share some based on my experience. 

I usually honk my horn when I need to tell someone that I'm there. This is especially common for pedestrians or other cars when they're in front of me. I really am irritated by pedestrians who just do not look either way when they cross the road. In addition to that, they sometimes intentionally walk slowly. The same goes for dogs, bicycles and motorcycles. You can also use it in front of a house or a meeting place to alert someone that you're already there. 

Sometimes, other drivers tend to drive really slowly and they tend to obstruct the road and induce heavy traffic behind them. This is fairly common on two way one-lane roads. I sound the horn to alert them that there is a line behind them and there are also other cars that need to pass through. Another similar situation is when you're at an intersection and the car in front does not move even when the light already turned to green. They probably are doing something else or are distracted so using a horn in this situation is perfectly fine. 

Another very important thing that I use the car horns for is to inform another driver that there's something wrong with his or her car. I sound the horn to get their attention and probably point at their flat tires, open doors, hanging objects and so on.  

Emergency situations are also significant instances where you need to use your horn. Along with your hazard light, headlights or blinker (if you're driving an emergency vehicle) the horn will alert other cars that you need to get to a place as soon as possible. Some do give way but some are just plain hard headed. 

On the other hand, you should not blow your car horns in areas such as hospitals, schools and churches unless it is very urgent like emergencies. These places require a quiet environment and should be respected. A lot of drivers disregard this though. 

In any case, your car's horn is a very effective way of communicating with other drivers on the road. It could prevent accidents or any other untoward incidents. Just be considerate and do not blow your horns just for fun especially if your car is outfitted with a powerful set of horns. Just be careful when using it as there are a lot of drivers who really are having a hard time understanding what you're trying to say. As for me, I don't use it unless I really need to.

Why is this important?

India is the only country where such advertising of ' Use Horn' 'Blow Horn' etc are commonly used from our primitive age till now. We are advised to blow horn as much as possible to avoid accident or may be for whatsoever reason. Now a days it is almost becoming a habit to blow horn even when it is not required at all. When the shrill horn irritates u in the traffic intersection or congestion, it also equally irritates others when u blow a horn when it is not required.

One of my friend came from Osaka,Japan and was a travel companion for 15 day or so in side Orissa.I guess, I made him irritated in the first few days of my driving with so big horn and many more.As usual he (MR.Wataru Takatani) was a cool guy and dint protest for few days.But suddenly during one small trip in side the city line he could not resist to educate me about the use of Horn.

He said,'' In Japan using Horn is a social offence and people dont use Horn at all." Just moment later I realised,why he said this to me. That means, I was ignorantly irritating him all throughout with the use of Horn.This happened 2 years before.Though I knew many a countries dont encourage people to use horn on road unless otherwise required,I dint know that this can also irritate others .Truly it irritates heavily.  

Believe me or not,since that incident with my Japanese friend  I have sincerely started practised not using horn while on road.To my amusement, my wife dint feel secure going with me as i dint use horn on road,my daughter also protested but I said " I HAVE IMPROVED MY DRIVING SKILL BY NOT USING HORN ON ROAD"

So u also try.U will feel good. Thank you.


How it will be delivered

emial the signature and stage a press conference too.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

The origins of "Horn OK Please"

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Horn Rokiye Please--Mumbai College Initiative



With a view to create awareness as well as to curb the increasing menace of
excessive and pointless honking on the streets of Mumbai, an “Anti-Honking”
initiative was undertaken by the third year students from the mass media course
of RD National College named “Horn Rokiye Please” which included a number
of online and offline activities between 1st and 8th September.

As part of their campaign, the students went around the city and interacted with
a number of taxi and auto-rickshaw drivers explaining and talking to them on a
personal level about the ill effects of honking. They were handed out posters and
stickers, which they stuck on their vehicles in order to show their support and
wholehearted co-operation.

Horn Rokiye Please teamed up with an NGO street school “Asha Kiran” in
Juhu and together they helped monitor the honking on the main road for 3
hours. The little children marched and stood on the main road with posters and
slogans related to anti-honking to draw the attention of the vehicle drivers and
pedestrians towards this cause. Posters were given out by the volunteers to
many drivers who indulged in unnecessary honking.

Horn Rokiye Please also organized a rally on Carter Road. This rally was
conducted from R.D. National College to Carter Road with many cars covered
with posters saying ‘Horn Rokiye Please’. This action was a conscious effort to
make people realize that honking can have serious effects on people’s health.
People walked to Carter Road holding posters and banners with various
slogans saying ‘Live in peace. Let them too. Please don’t honk’; they got some
positive reactions from all kinds of people, be it taxi drivers, the common man, a
chaiwala, etc.
The eateries like Wah Bollywood, Froyo and Yogurt bay and a tattoo parlour,
Tattoo Star supported this cause by putting up posters of “Horn Rokiye

Also supporting Horn Rokiye Please’s initiative was Movie Time- Suburbia, a
popular theatre in Bandra as they put up standees and posters of Horn Rokiye
Please inside and outside the premises of the theatre.

The online activities included 3 short viral videos with a linear storyline
uploaded on YouTube which garnered tremendous response going by the
increasing number of hits and likes on the videos. These videos were extremely
successful in generating hype and interest among the viewers about the
campaign. The students also posted several pictures of their activities online, on
their interactive Facebook Page.

The overall response to the campaign has been extremely encouraging.
Honking not only affects the health of the people but is also a source of irritation,
distress, anxiety and anger. This campaign is an earnest appeal on part of the
students to the citizens to stop unnecessary honking with immediate effect.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

$350 fine for honking in NYC residential localities

Hefty fine for honking in residential localities in the New York City.  This sounds like such a great way for Government of India to bridge its budget deficit if say Rs. 1000 is charged for honking in localities where not needed.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The 'Pursuit Of Silence' In A World Full of Noise


April 8, 2010

Writer George Prochnik says he's had a passion for silence as long as he can remember.

"I can't sit in my house without hearing air conditioners," he tells Dave Davies. "I worry about this layer of noise that's placed on top of infrastructure noise. It's made [noise] inescapable."

In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise
By George Prochnik
Hardcover, 352 pages
List price: $26

Read an Excerpt

In his new book, In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise, Prochnik leaves the noisy confines of New York City and goes on a global quest to find those who still value silence. He examines the never-ending series of sounds that pervade his thoughts on a daily basis — the traffic helicopters, the leaky iPods, the neighbors who hold loud parties — and researches the scientific effects of noise on our bodies.

"There's increasing evidence that harm goes across our systems [from noise]," he says. "There's been a long association with noise and hearing loss — many times subways that haven't been maintained are already running at decibel levels that are dangerous — but there's also new studies just completed that show danger to our cardiovascular systems. Even when not awakened, blood pressure goes up and hours later, the blood pressure is still elevated."

George Prochnik
Courtesy George Prochnik

George Prochnik is also the author ofPutnam Camp: Sigmund Freud, James Jackson Putnam, and the Purpose of American Psychology. He has written forPlayboy, The Boston Globe and The New York Times.

Among the noises Prochnik investigates in In Pursuit of Silence are those deliberately added to an environment to trigger key emotions and excitement. He points to one study conducted in France that showed a clear correlation between noise levels and how much people eat and drink.

"What we know is that if you're loud at this point in our culture, it seems to signify that you're having a good time," he says. "This is the same phenomenon that we find in restaurants, which continue to get louder in many cities every year. ... People, it seems, will often not eat as much in a really loud environment. However, what they will do is drink more. ... So that sense of loss of control, of celebratory arousal, is something some restaurant spaces can benefit from."

Prochnik says that on trips to a Quaker meeting and a monastery, he learned that absolute silence doesn't exist but that quiet spaces are essential because they "can inject us with a fertile unknown: a space in which to focus and absorb experience."

"What surprised me is degree to which the monks don't associate silence with gloomy overhang," he says. "There's sense of joyfulness of turning themselves down to be conscious of greater things."

Excerpt: 'In Pursuit Of Silence'

In Pursuit of Silence

In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise
By George Prochnik
Hardcover, 352 pages
List price: $26

Chapter One

Listening for the Unknown

On my second night in the monastery, I heard the silence. I was inside the church: a beautiful, vast chamber of limestone blocks that resemble lumpy oatmeal and were quarried from the Iowan earth by the monks themselves in the mid-nineteenth century. The monks had finished compline, the last of the day's seven prayer services, and had filed off into the inner recesses of the monastery, where they would observe the Great Silence, speaking to no one until after mass the next morning. The last of the monks to leave had switched off the lights above the choir, and then the light over the lectern. Though the section of visitors' pews where I sat still had a little illumination, the body of the church was now in total blackness except for the faint flickering of a votive candle suspended high in the distance against the far wall. For the first quarter hour, a few worshippers remained on the benches around me.

Although I sat very quietly, I found my mind busy and loud. Mostly I was reflecting on the service I had just heard, which Brother Alberic, my gracious liaison to the world of the monastery, had described as a kind of lullaby. Compline is lovely, and I was frustrated that I had not been able to find it more profound. These weren't my prayers. I yearned only for more quiet. My thoughts were noisy enough that I half expected to see them break out of my skull and begin dancing a musical number up and down the wooden benches.

Soon the other worshippers departed and I was left alone. For a moment or two, my experience was of literal silence. Then, all at once, there came a ting, a tic, another tic, a tap, and a clang. The sounds came from all around the enormous dark church. They ranged from the verge of inaudibility to the violence of hammer blows; discrete chips of sound and reverberatory gonnngs. Out of nowhere, I was treated to a concert by the sound of heat in the pipes. It was a grand, slightly menacing sound that I had been oblivious to not only during the prayer service but afterward in the din of my mental dithering. And it was worth that long opening pause. The ever-changing sonic punctuation of this empty space — which had first seemed soundless — gave me a tingling sense of elevation. This is it, I told myself. Silence made everything resonate.

And yet . . . Later that night when I retreated to my room, and my euphoria had subsided, I wondered why I had been affected so powerfully. Objectively, the only thing that had happened, after all, was that I had heard the metal of the pipes expanding and contracting as they heated and cooled. Why should that experience have made me feel that I was "hearing the silence"? Why did I feel at that lonely hour that I had found what I was looking for when I came to the monastery?

What brought me to the New Melleray Abbey in Dubuque, Iowa, was the desire to learn from people who had made a lifelong commitment to devout silence. Trappist monks, a branch of the Cistercian order, do not make a vow of total silence, and today there are times when they engage in conversation; but silence is their mother tongue. Saint Benedict, who is credited with founding Western Christian monasticism in the sixth century, most famously at Monte Cassino, southeast of Rome, wrote a document known as the Rule that remains their guide to this day. In the Rule, monks are defined before all else as disciples, and the defining quality of the disciple is "to be silent and listen." Trappists are among the monks known as "contemplatives." Their interaction with the world outside the monastery is minimal. Much of their worship is silent. They study in silence. They work almost entirely in silence. They eat primarily in silence. They pass each other in the monastery corridors without speaking. They retire at 8 pm to separate cells and rise at 3:15 am, when they gather in silence to pray. They avoid idle talk at all times. And even after the morning mass, throughout much of their demanding day, they are discouraged from speaking. Almost everything the Trappist does takes place in silence — is pressed close by its weight, or opens out onto that expanse, depending on how you look at it.

Monks have, moreover, been at the pursuit for quite some time. Alberic remarked at one point that while it is often said that prostitution is the oldest profession, he believes that monks were around before there were prostitutes. This struck me as unlikely, but it still gave me pause.

There was a personal stake in this journey as well: I needed a break. I'd had a hectic, noisy winter in the city — medically harrowing, filled with bills, the hassles of insurance claims, technology fiascos, and preschool worries. Plans to visit friends in the country had fallen through several times. I'd tried to go to a Zen retreat in New England that taught the breath- and silence-based meditation practice of vipassana, only to be told at the last moment that although I could come and sit silently with the retreatants, the guesthouse itself was overbooked and I'd have to stay in a bed-and-breakfast in town. The thought of beginning my daily practice over fussy French toast in a dining room packed with antiquers — where tasteful classical music would be piped in to glaze over the gaps in conversation — didn't conduce to inner quiet. I had to get out of New York. Yet it was hard to arrange anything. Just because we have a nagging sense that silence is good for us doesn't make it any easier to actually commit to.

I didn't think of quiet only as one of those overdue restoratives. Beyond the idea of wanting to learn something about the Trappist path and get away from the noise in my own life, I was hoping to find some truth in the silence of the monastery that I could take back to New York. I'd packed a stack of books and volumes of photocopied pages representing different theological and philosophical traditions — everything from Martin Heidegger and Max Picard to kabbalistic disquisitions, an array of Buddhist tracts, and enough Christian monastic literature to envelop a monk from tonsure to toe. I needed help.

From In Pursuit of Silence: Listening for Meaning in a World of Noise by George Prochnik. Copyright 2010 by George Prochnik. Reprinted by permission of Doubleday. All rights reserved.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Less Noise Please!!!

“Noise should be seen but not heard,” states one advertisement for window glass. However, we Indians love noise — the more the better! That's the reason why we do not pay much attention given to noise reduction in homes.

An incident of outside noise causing problem to a residential area came up a few years ago. The newly opened high-rise building had installed an air-conditioner. The water used was re-circulated by cooling through a motor/pump. This set off a continuous humming sound that was a source of annoyance to the neighbourhood. A complaint given to the owner of the building was ignored stating that the noise was within limits.

Thoroughly disappointed with such a negative attitude, some of the residents approached the Corporation authorities. Thanks to the investigation work done by the inspector concerned, the owner agreed to install a barrier to contain the sound. Then the noise level reduced considerably much to the relief of the residents, who had suffered for so long.

Traffic noise is one of the sources of noise that affects a householder. He/she has little control over such man-made noise, except taking certain steps to minimise the effect of noise inside. Plants outside, where possible, could cut some of the noise. Blinds and drapes on windows could further act as barriers. It is rare to see a construction, which has proactively taken steps to install noise-reducing steps such as fixing foam boards and other sound absorbing materials inside or outside the walls. That applies to windows, which could have a frame outside that could absorb or deflect sound.

Noise generated inside a house is rarely recognised by someone who has been living along. He/she fails to appreciate the fact that the noise level is high and could have long-term deleterious effects such as loss of hearing or other effects on the human body due to prolonged exposure to noise. There are a few sources of noise inside a house — TV, music system, air-conditioner, washing machine, refrigerator, microwave and so on.

Some of the modern domestic appliances have less noise level. For example, a refrigerator, as it is on continuous operation, makes a buzzing noise when the compressor is activated periodically. The modern refrigerator, especially the compressor, is improved as far as energy and noise level are concerned as compared to the older versions. It would be desirable if the householder pays attention to noise emanating from domestic appliances and seeks advice before buying a particular model. While some noise is unavoidable, one has to look for constant buzz or heavy noise that could lead to long-term effects without one's knowledge.

Loss of hearing is one health hazard which one recognises when it's too late. Personal stereos and cellphones should be used with caution, preferably at reduced sound levels or with hand-held devices and that too sparingly. Another problem are noisy neighbours! We can only appeal to them to tone their TV/music system and talk/laugh less loudly!

Indoor drapes, shades, indoor plants and lower noise domestic equipment are the means to achieve lower noise levels for a comfortable living. A floor could have sound absorbing materials coated to minimise noise when someone walks on it. Sound absorbing material could be fixed inside or outside at strategic locations which could minimise the external noise effect. That applies to noise deflectors, such as barriers and plants that could deflect noise if it is from any specific location.

Noise could lead to health hazards, besides spoiling one's mood when someone seeks quiet and peace at his/own home. The government has fixed a limit of 55 db maximum for residential areas during daytime and 45 db maximum during nighttime, which unfortunately is followed more in the breach than in practice. A citizen has a right to complain about noise that disturbs him. Police could lend a helping hand to shut down loudspeakers beyond 10 p.m. or warn a boisterous party going on next door.

(The writer's email is dbnvimi@gmail.com)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Mission Peace: Bangalore: Stop the Noise!

Bangalore is marching ahead as a quieter city. Check this out!


Harmful effects of noise include:

• Loss of hearing
• Increase in blood pressure
• Sleep disturbances
• Heightened irritability
• Digestion problems

The 10th of every month is now No Honking Day in Bangalore. On 28th April 2010, International Noise Awareness Day, Mission Peace in association with Karnataka Police launched a monthly No Honking Day for Karnataka State.


• Use horn only when absolutely
necessary; use cut-out for
reverse-horn, especially in silent
zones and during the night.

• Not use shrill or multi-tone or
multi-blow horns.

• Fix the silencer of our twowheelers
or four-wheelers.

• Avoid travelling in autorickshaws
with tampered silencers.

• Switch off loudspeakers beyond
permitted hours.

If you believe in the cause, sign the pledge to curb noise pollution:


Contact us for an anti-honking sticker for your shop or vehicle.