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Mumbai is introducing no-honking days and noise barriers in an attempt to control the noise pollution in the bustling city.

Source: Hindustan Times/YouTube

Mumbai is one of the busiest and noisiest cities in the world. With the world becoming more and more aware of noise Pollution and the negative effects it has, people in Mumbai have been trying to fight it. Some people, however, have been fighting noise Pollution for years now. This is the case with Sumaira Abdulali, who began campaigning against noise Pollution over two decades ago. Bloomberg reported that although people told her it wasn’t worth it, she persisted.

“People told me it’s ridiculous to even try, because Indians love noise,” she says. “We’re a noisy country.”

In 2003, Abdulali won a public-interest lawsuit that sought to roll back changes to environmental regulations. The regulations allowed loud music into the night during the Navratri festival each year. The ruling allowed for a blanket ban on loudspeakers within 100 (328 feet) of schools, hospitals, courts, and places of worship, Bloomberg reported.

Abdulali didn’t stop there. She has since won over a dozen other actions both on her own and via the Awaaz (noise) Foundation, which she launched in 2006. Abdulali claims Mumbai is the world’s loudest, and although it is hard to rank this, a 2020 study found the noise levels in Mumbai and surrounding areas.

In recent years, the city has installed barriers along highways to cut noise around residential areas. One of the worst problems is honking. Many have suggested devices in vehicles that measure and monitor horn use, while others encourage updating roads to improve the flow of vehicles.

India’s first “No-Honking” day was in 2008, and officials handed out pamphlets to raise awareness about noise Pollution and even gave out fines to motorists who violated the no-hoking rule. Every Wednesday, Mumbai police restrict honking, and traffic officials now carry decibel meters.

Noise Pollution affects humans, animals on land, and even animals in the sea. Noise Pollution is impacting whales’ ability to contact each other, birds are suffering PTSD- like symptoms from noise pollution, and another study found that noise pollution can increase heart failure in women. Paris recently installed noise sensors to fight noise pollution and other places are finally working to reduce this unsuspecting killer. This is just one more reason that we need to take Pollution seriously. We need to create a safer and cleaner environment for us, animals, and the planet!

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