Shimla: ‘Horn Not Ok’ campaign is making impact in Shimla and Manali towns and due to that lesser people are blowing horns. Additional Chief Secretary Environment, Science & Technology RD Dhiman said this while presiding over the review meeting of “Horn Not Ok” campaign here today.

Dhiman said that blowing horn is not only causing un-necessary noise pollution but it is also harmful for our health. He said that in the first phase this campaign has been launched in two towns of the State viz. Shimla and Manali on pilot basis. He said that both these towns are major tourist attractions and motivating the drivers not to use horns in these towns is a commendable initiative.

The state Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur had launched this “Horn Not OK” awareness campaign and “Shoor Nahin” Mobile App in August, 2018. He said that noise pollution is a serious problem in urban areas where thousands of vehicles ply daily and honking causes serious health hazards. He said that 80 percent persons blow horns out of habit which is unnecessary. He said that the horn is a symbol of uncivilized in western countries.

He said that the mobile App ‘Shoor Nahin’ is also a good initiative to check noise pollution in the State. He said that this App has been developed for the convenience of the general public to report any noise pollution occupancy to the authorities for corrective measures. He said that it is an initiative of the Department of Environment Science and Technology in association with the NIC Himachal Pradesh.

RD Dhiman said that this App allows two types of users that are general public and officers, both are authenticated using the OTP. He said that all such complaints would be immediately made available through the App to the concerned DC, SP, SDM and SDPO who can add the action taken report on the app itself. The App would help authorities to locate the occurrence of the incidences using GPS which can be easily used to trace the path using Google maps.

He said that students of schools and colleges should be involved in this campaign as apart from making older people aware about noise pollution caused by honking they will be groomed as civic persons. He directed to put signages in silence zones i.e. schools, colleges, hospitals and courts etc about not blowing horns in 100 meter radius and enforcement of ‘No Horn’ between 10 PM to 6 AM in the state. He directed the police officers to strictly enforce it and issue challans for violation.

He said that taxi unions, truck unions and drivers of GAD, other government offices and HRTC should be sensitized about “Horn Not OK” campaign. He asked the bank representatives to put up more signages at the entry points of both towns and at prominent locations of Shimla and Manali. He said that publicity of this campaign should be made through radio jingles and TV cable operators. He directed the PWD Department to do wall writings about ‘Horn Not Ok’ campaign at road sides.

Director Environment, Science & Technology DC Rana while conducting the meeting said that he visited Katmandu in Nepal and seen that there is no honking in the city. He said that when a country like Nepal which has lower literacy rate as compare to India and has a chaotic traffic can successfully implement this campaign then why we cannot. He said that Katmandu introduced this campaign in January, 2017. He urged all the concerned departments to work whole heartedly to make this campaign a success.

President Hotel Shimla Association Harnam Kukreja said that signages of “Horn Not Ok” would be displayed at parking and reception of all Shimla based hotels.

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Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last 15 years.