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Sometimes not too far away into the future, pressing the horn pad of your vehicle may trigger sounds you may only expect to hear when listening to a classical song. In a reiteration of a proposal he had made a while ago, Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Monday said the government is planning to pass a new law, under which only the sounds of Indian musical instruments – such as the tabla, flute, sitar, and more – can be used for vehicle horns, in an attempt to slash noise pollution levels across Indian cities.

“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. Flute, tabla, violin, mouth organ, harmonium,” Gadkari said.

Speaking at a highway inauguration ceremony, Gadkari said he was also studying the sirens used by ambulances and police vehicles and replace them with a more pleasant tune played on the All India Radio.

Gadkari said he put an end to red beacons. “Now, I want to put an end to these sirens as well. Now I am studying the sirens (used by) ambulances and police.”

“An artist composed a tune of Akashwani (All India Radio), and it was played early in the morning. I am thinking of using that tune for ambulances so that people feel pleasant. It is so irritating, especially after ministers pass by; the sirens are used at total volume. This also harms the ears.

At present, the noise range for most vehicle horns is currently fixed between 93 decibels (dB) and 112 dB. With the number of vehicles on the road rising every day, putting up with constant honking has become part and parcel of all everyday commutes for the average Indian motorist. Still, it remains to be seen if this novel idea can solve a widespread issue.

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