The Allahabad High Court yesterday took suo moto cognizance of noise pollution created by modified silencers, notably Bullet Bikes and other two-wheelers, comparing it to the mythology of Hydra.
The Bench of Justice Abdul Moin observed that the problem of noise pollution is analogous to the hydra, in that anyone attempting to behead the Hydra discovered that as soon as one head was cut off, two more heads emerged from the fresh wound, so that the destruction of the Hydra became one of Hercules’ 12 Labours.
The Court also referred to an ongoing PIL in which the Court noted the noise pollution generated by loudspeakers and remarked that the State Government had issued an order to restrict the blatant abuse of loudspeakers.
However, the Court noted that once the threat of sound pollution from loudspeakers was partly minimised, the Hydra of noise pollution reared its ugly head once more.
The Court went on to say that noise pollution is now being felt as a result of changed mufflers on the silencers of two-wheelers, particularly Bullets and other new-era two-wheelers rushing through the streets of the State capital.
The Court considered the tendency of vehicle riders to change noise mufflers/silencers to the point where a vehicle being driven can be heard hundreds of metres away, causing tremendous suffering to the elderly, elderly, and infirm, as well as young children and other persons who may demand silence.
It is vital to remember that removing or altering the noise muffler in the silencer of a two-wheeler or driving vehicle is penalised under Section 190 (2) of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988.
Furthermore, according to the Noise Pollution (Regulation and Control) Rules, 2000, the Court remarked that the State Government is mandated to adopt measures for noise abatement, including noise from vehicular movements.
The Court, on the other hand, added:
“Once the authorities have not cared to look into the matter, it is for this Court to take notice of the noise pollution being caused through the vehicles and thus this Court takes notice of the aforesaid noise pollution.”
Lastly, the Court instructed the Additional Chief Standing Counsel to assist the Court in the issue, and the office was told to register the case as a Public Interest Litigation in the subject of “Noise pollution through modified silencers (Suo moto) (P.I.L) Vs. State of U.P and Ors.”
Furthermore, the State authorities have been ordered to investigate the problem and take stern measures in line with the law, as well as crack down on such cars generating pollution through modified silencers, and the subject has been scheduled for hearing in three weeks, on August 10.
Written by Somesh Vaidya