Shhh… Quiet please!

A community project initiative looks at involving the public in making Bangalore a noise-free zone

Have you ever felt like bashing that driver who is incessantly honking behind you even though there is practically no space for your vehicle to move an inch? Have you ever wanted to have a remote that could mute the honkers of all the vehicles around you when stuck in traffic? Do you leave home during peak traffic hours and arrive at office irritated and mad because of all that infernal noise on the way? Do you feel like smashing those loudspeakers which have been blaring incessantly into the night?

If yes, read on.

Among pollution concerns of air, water, land, and noise, noise pollution is the one that has the potential for the most damage to humans and wildlife. It is a hidden health hazard that impacts our physical, psychological and intellectual well being. Have you ever realised that our ears never shut down, even while we are sleeping? The input is therefore constant.

This is how much noise things around us generate day in and day out. What is your noise threshold? Check your decibel quotient:

Rustling leaves- 10db
Stereo – 90db
Whisper – 30 db,
Bagpipes – 90-110db
Normal speech – 60 db,
Power Saw – 100db
Television – 70 db,
Fire Cracker – 115-120db
Traffic – 75-80 db,
Rock concert -120db
Blow dryer – 85 db,
Gunshot/Train/Jet -150db
Noisy hall – 85 db
Classroom – 85 db

Our ability to hear is one of our greatest senses that connects us to the world around us. Without sound, the world becomes a lonely, frightening place. But when sound becomes noise of intolerable decibel levels, it can harm our well being. Excess stimulation from sound can overload our nervous system that may result in many negative health symptoms, including loss of hearing. The Environmental Protection Agency says that exposure to 70 decibles of sound in a 24 hour period is safe.

Other then debilitating physical and psychological effects, noise pollution can result in decreased learning capacity, memory loss, poor language skills, decreased speech development, decreased academic performance and decreased cognitive ability. Damage to health begins at 75 db. Hearing damage begins at 90 db and can be permanent with one exposure of 120 db or more. The average decibel levels at a high school are 70-86, where damage to physical, psychological and communicative health begins.

How can we stop the constant bombardment to our ears and protect our overall health?

No honking!

We can sign up for ‘No Honking, Pleazzz’.

Think about it, noise pollution is a concern to all of us, but we are just taking it all in our stride with a pinch of Solpa adjust maadi attitude. Noise pollution in Bangalore can be brought down considerably if we all join hands together and work towards a noise-free, calm Bangalore.

I’m looking for leaders who can help my community project in saving Bangalore from noise pollution. I am trying to tie up with the traffic police to introduce a ‘No Honking Day’ in the city. I am sure with co-operation and active participation from environment and health conscious individuals, the initiative will take off and go a long way in creating awareness about the issue and fostering a generation of responsible citizens.

Until then, let us begin in a small way at our own levels by refraining from honking while driving and at traffic signals, keeping our TV, radio and stereos volumes low and registering our protest when blaring loudspeakers during public functions disturb the peace and quiet of the neighbourhood.


  1. Kiran Deglurkar says:

    Hello Bala Venkarta Sudhakar,

    I fully support your concern. I was in bangalore for 2 years and used to work in a s/w company in whitefield. I always used to have a severe headache and fatigue after coming home because of honking and the traffic noise. I have many friends in bangalore who say that they are more tired with the traffic noise than the work.
    Warm Regards

  2. Shamala Kittane says:

    Hi Bala
    I would like to join you in this effort against ‘Noise’.

    Let me know if you need help


  3. Dr Kadiyali M Srivatsa says:

    I think you need to spread this news and impart fear of God before you can bring in changes. It is important to address this issue because companies are concerned about staff stress level. A tired worker cannot concentrate and function well resulting in poor performance. Western business establishment want their staff not to be stressed. I am sure some companies will start moving out from Bangalore if they find their work force are not working efficiently and their retun in investment is poor.

  4. Bala Venkata Sudhakara Reddy Vuyyuru says:

    I thank you each one of you for the responses and improvement views.Today there is an article mentioned in Kannada Times Of India Newspaper. More info refer Media Metion in

  5. Bala Venkata Sudhakara Reddy Vuyyuru says:

    Mission Peace-Stop the noise: Invitation to demo and press conference on SAT NOV 15th. The venue is Cubbon Park (at kasturba road signal), date is Saturday, Nov15th and time is 10:00am-11:00am.

    More info

  6. Satya Kumar Kolluru says:

    Our Rotary Club of Cantonment member Mr.Rajendra Rane has initiated a drive to reduce noise pollution by enloghtening the cab drivers on the effects of noise pollution. The other suggestion i have is to make some creative stickers and request the vehicle owners to stick the same on the rear of the vehicle. This might help in the efforts

  7. Kanak Nagarkatti says:

    This site has been quiet for a several months while the noise levels are unchanged.
    I have been driving for 30 years. It was only about fifteen years ago that I became conscious of noise pollution by horns and have since never honked except in an emergency- that too on a highway.

    Noise cannot be stopped by email campaigns. We need to get on to the streets.

    1. Get such anti-noise organisations together.

    2. If you can get together groups from your building complex or street and form localised groups who can get into action in their own areas.

    3. Choose a date, say 1½ to 2 months from now. Can we choose 20th October 2009 or 01st November 2009 for example?

    4. Tell all radio stations to announce & warn motorists that on this day, members will take to the streets and picket honking vehicles, particularly those with double horns and delay them for 15 minutes. Peaceful picketing, no violence. The erring driver will be given a lecture for the 15 minutes. Also if he has a dual or air horn, his vehicle number and license number will be reported to the police.

    5. If you contacts with local police, use them. The cop on the street is most affected by noise as they spend so much time on the streets.

    6. Start a campaign against companies and shops which sell horns which are very loud such as air horns, dual tone etc.. Bosch is one such company which has an advertisement in Auto Car magazine etc, saying that their horns are loud etc..

    7. Let us get together and on to the streets- email will not work.

    8. Put this sticker on your car window in English and Kannada- :If you honk, I will stop and block you”. Or better I plan to get a scrolling sign in 2-3 languages, though it costs over Rs. 10,000 and blocks out some of the rear view.

    9. More ideas, but targeting honkers on the streets, not email campaigns only.

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