Honking ban in Valley from new Nepali year

Kathmandu, April 3

In an effort to reduce sound pollution in the Valley, the government is preparing to impose a ban on vehicle horns, which will come into effect on the day of the Nepali New Year 2074 Baisakh (April 14, 2017) in Kathmandu Metropolitan City.

“From April 14 onward, horns will be banned for public, government, tourist and private vehicles plying in Kathmandu Valley,” Gyanendra Karki, KMC spokesperson said, adding that the main aim of the ban was to minimise sound pollution.

“People of Kathmandu are fed up with high levels of unnecessary honking by drivers. We hope that there will be no horn sounds in ‘no horn’ areas and sound pollution will come down in the coming days,” Karki said.

The Office of KMC has also pushed for penalty for rule violators. The horns will be seized from vehicles by traffic police if the drivers are found guilty of misusing horn. The rules also state that repeat offenders will face a fine up to Rs 5,000.

The KMC added the ban will not be applicable for ambulances, hearses, fire engines and security personnel. “If any emergency comes, one can use his/her vehicle horn but he/she must give appropriate reason for doing so,” the spokesperson stated.

The ban on horns was decided after discussions with various stakeholders such as Kathmandu traffic police, vehicle sector representatives, KMC authority, and the CDO of Kathmandu.

With less than 15 days to go before the ban kicks in, KMC is preparing to spread awareness throughout the capital.

Experts say noise level should not exceed 75-85 db outdoors. Doctors say that noise levels over 100 db is harmful to human ears.

Experts say the government has not given serious priority to curb activities that create noise pollution. Vehicular noise aside, high levels of sound from saw mills, furniture factories, sugarcane mills, textile or metal industries, religious ceremonies, mosques or temples using loud speakers, and construction works also cause sound pollution.