14 April, Kathmandu- The ‘No Horn’ campaign which came into effect from the New Year’s Day today within the Kathmandu Metropolitan City (KMC) seems to have worked as the vehicle horns were heard only occasionally.
The KMC implemented the campaign in its bid to reduce the noise pollution in the capital. As part of this campaign, KMC has placed big banners, posters and hoarding boards with the ‘No Horn’ messages at different locations and on the side of the overhead bridges on the capital’s roads.
Although the vehicles, big or small, plying on the streets sounded their horns only occasionally, it was observed that the drivers were conscious of the decision.
Laxman Thapa from Mahakali-5, Nuwakot, who was riding his motorcycle from Bouddha to Singha Durbar, complained to a traffic policeman on duty at Chabahil when he could not tolerate a water tanker blowing horn constantly.
According to Thapa, the traffic policeman told him that the driver of the water tanker was not aware of the new measure and he would be used to the new provision within a day or two, and that there was no need of taking punitive measures against him.
But Thapa himself did not give horn in course of his entire ride from Chabahil to Singha Durbar.
Santoshi Sharma from Nilkantha Municipality, Dhading district shared that unlike other days she did not hear the cacophony of vehicles blowing their horns during her travel from Balaju Machhapokhari to Bhadrakali.
Similarly, Kirtika Khadka who rode on her scooter from Naya Baneshwar to Bhadrakali shared that she did not hear vehicle horns. “May be it is a public holiday today and there are less number of vehicles on the roads,” she reasoned.
Krishna Raj Pandey who came from Balkhu to Sundhara riding motorbike said he had to give horn only once and that also in an emergency situation. “I am aware of the ‘no horn’ decision, but had to give horn only when I was in difficulty,” he said.
But as they say old habits die hard, some drivers sounded horns unawares. The traffic police only reminded them of the new rule and let them off.
The traffic police shared that most of the general public’s reaction to the new measure is that they believe it will to some extent help bring down the noise pollution in Kathmandu.
“This measure should be seen as an initiative to reduce the noise pollution rather than a complete ‘No Horn’ campaign. We are prepared to effectively implement this measure as a way of reducing the unnecessary noise,” Lokendra Bahadur Malla, spokesman of the Metropolitan Traffic Police Division, said.
Seven to eight hundred thousand vehicles including motorbikes ply on the roads in Kathmandu Valley daily.
The traffic police can fine up to Rs 5 thousand if any driver blows horn unnecessarily, according to the KMC spokesman Gyanendra Bahadur Karki.