A recent plea put forth to the Delhi High Court claims that some of the highest contributors to noise pollution in India are modified Royal Enfield motorcycles. This plea was filed by the NGO Justice for Rights Foundation and Prateek Sharma, a law student who are of the opinion that modified fitments on Royal Enfield bikes contributed extensively to noise pollution in the country.
Modifying Royal Enfields with pressure horns and aftermarket exhausts seems to be the now order of the day, taking modifications to a whole new level. The owners seem to prefer the most alarming horns, irrespective of the nuisance that is created. They have little concern for the environment while modifying exhausts while they also install modified woofers and silencers which far exceed the permitted decibel levels. These not only pose a health hazard to everyone in general but more so cause untold difficulties to senior citizens and the infirm.
The petition filed before the Delhi High Court appeals for a ban on such horns and exhausts not only on Royal Enfield bikes but bikes in general and also on cars. The Petitioners claim that there should be a blanket ban not only on sales and installation but on manufacture as well so that these sorts of aftermarket attachments are totally forbidden for manufacture and sale in the country.
These are particularly noticed in the aftermarket exhaust systems fitted to Royal Enfield bikes which make loud cracker like sounds and backfires that could seriously damage the eardrum. There has been a notable increase in use of such silencers, horns and subwoofers with the ongoing Delhi University Students Union elections.
The Petitioners appeal to the High Court to take into account the noise and nuisance levels these horns and exhausts cause. In response to this plea, a two judge panel hearing this case has issued notices to both the Central and Delhi Governments calling for a ban on all these three items. Notices were also sent to pollution control authorities and to the police asking for immediate action.
According to automotive norms, vehicles should adhere to a maximum of 80 decibels. However, modifications sometimes take decibel levels up to 100 decibels and over. These are all aftermarket products and there is no curb on their production. A law against its very manufacture and crackdown against dealers who sell and fit non-standard accessories to vehicles is the need of the hour.