Horn, okay please: Delhi govt's honking ban order for ISBTs falls on deaf ears

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Horn, okay please: Delhi govt's honking ban order for ISBTs falls on deaf ears

According to the ban introduced in the three ISBTs of Delhi - Kashmere Gate, Anand Vihar and Sarai Kale Khan - the drivers will be fined Rs 500 for honking and Rs 100 for shouting and soliciting destination to passengers.

The Delhi government's bid to curb noise pollution at the Inter State Bus Terminals has failed to make a dent a day after the ban was rolled out, as the situation remained largely the same.

According to the ban introduced in the three ISBTs of Delhi - Kashmere Gate, Anand Vihar and Sarai Kale Khan - the drivers will be fined Rs 500 for honking and Rs 100 for shouting and soliciting destination to passengers.

The conductors and bus drivers remained largely indifferent to the order issued by the Delhi Transport Infrastructure Development Corporation (DTDC).

During a visit by the Mail Today team, it was found out that not only did the drivers admit to honking without fear, some also added that the ban was impractical as the bus station was catering only to middle class crowd and not the elite class.

According to the data given by transport department, the number of challans issued attests to the lack of seriousness in implementation of this order, as indicated by several bus drivers and conductors.

Barely 24 hours after the ban kicked in, the transport department officials fined 51 challans.

"We have fined 32 challans for honking in all three terminals combined. As for soliciting and shouting in the terminus premises, the department fined 19 challans in all the three terminals, which are plying a total number of 5,703 buses on a daily basis," confirmed V K Mongia, deputy commissioner, Delhi's transport department.

OFFICIALS PROMISE STRICTER ENFORCEMENT

Special commissioner of Delhi's transport department K K Dahiya has promised stricter enforcement to bring down the noise pollution levels.

"We are experiencing some teething problems, but we are well on our way to introduce more infrastructures to contain the situation. In another 30 days, passengers can expect RFID system being rolled out along with upgraded infrastructure to help passengers navigate better," Dahiya told MAIL TODAY.

In addition, the officials also admitted to lack of manpower to monitor those openly violating rules and regulations.

"We will deploy more officers on ground to ensure stringent implementation as this requires a minimum of 10 officials to bring down pollution," said a state department official.

The Kashmere Gate Bus Terminal witnesses footfall from passengers travelling to Haryana, Punjab and Uttarakhand and according to the vendors, the soliciting and alerting of passengers creates an alarming level of noise pollution, especially by the buses destined for Haryana.

Conductor for a private Haryana roadways Randeep Mallik said, "We have seen conductors of Haryana state buses honking and shouting at the highest pitch possible to attract passengers."

The DTIDC had introduced the order after transport minister Kailash Gahlot's visit to the Kashmere Gate terminal earlier this week. The officials observed noise pollution levels at ISBTs and confirmed that it has reached an alarming level requiring intervention to reduce the pollution.