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Transport Minister Gadkari moots musical toots for noisy Indian roads

Published: Updated:

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.

“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.

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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’s Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari (C), signs a register as inspects the Zojila tunnel under construction which connects Srinagar to the union territory of Ladakh, at Baltal, some 93 km northeast of Srinagar, on September 28, 2021. (AFP)
India’s Union Minister of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH) Nitin Gadkari (C), signs a register as inspects the Zojila tunnel under construction which connects Srinagar to the union territory of Ladakh, at Baltal, some 93 km northeast of Srinagar, on September 28, 2021. (AFP)

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 colorful 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.

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