Sunday, 17 October, 2021
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Minister moots musical toots for noisy Indian roads

India's transport minister is mulling a law that would seek to replace the country's constant car-horn cacophony with the sound of music, reports AFP.

"I am studying this and soon planning to make a law that the horns of all vehicles should be in Indian musical instruments so that it is pleasant to hear," Nitin Gadkari told local media on Monday. The horns could blast sounds made by the flute, tabla, violin, mouth organ or harmonium, he added. Gadkari also said he wanted to replace the "irritating" sirens used by ambulances and police vehicles with soothing tunes. India is home to some of the noisiest cities in the world, as rickshaws, buses, taxis, weaving motorbikes and private cars fight for space on the traffic-clogged roads.

The horn is deemed almost as important as the gas pedal -- and more so than wing mirrors -- and is used by drivers more to alert other road-users to their presence rather than to rebuke.

India's colourful trucks often have messages painted on their backs aimed at overtaking drivers such as "Horn OK Please" or "Blow Horn".

The World Health Organization says noise pollution can cause hearing loss, cardiovascular problems, cognitive impairment, stress and depression.