Few months ago, the Traffic authorities enforced the “No horn” drive in Province no 1 like they had enforced in the Kathmandu city and some other parts of Nepal. It has become an issue of a huge national debate nowadays with some people finding it to be a good move, whereas many others think it as an imposition of penalty and forcefully taxation by the traffic authorities.
Everyone agrees that there should not be unnecessary noise pollution. The idea of controlling noise pollution through “No horn” campaign is a good move. But the way the traffic authorities have started the movement, without planning and proper management, the campaign seems ridiculous. There is lack of proper traffic management, road and pavement are missing or destroyed, everybody (including people, animals, small and big vehicles) seems be on the road, where it is very difficult for someone to ride on the road or cross it without using the horn. The chances of road accidents are high as horn is the only way to signal a passerby. With the “No Horn” campaign underway, if anyone honks on the road now, the traffic is allowed to take the vehicle driver under their custody and penalize them without even trying to understand the situation that forced the driver to use horn. This campaign has given the authorities a free run to impose, exploit, humiliate and penalize common citizens without proper reason, which has created a frustrating atmosphere amongst the riders these days.
Realizing the gravity of the situation, Bikalpa organized a campaign on 11th Oct, 2017 to inform and pressurize the local authorities about this anomaly in the system. Bikalpa pointed out as to why the “No horn” campaign is good but poorly implement with the Slogan “No Penalty without Infrastructure”. We published an article regarding the issue, which caught many people’s attention and garnered us support. This encouraged us to initiate the street campaign where we highlighted the issue and informed more citizens. A Facebook event was created with the slogan “First Infrastructure, Fine only after” to call upon public participation in the protest. Around 45 youths, students and civil society members participated to take a stand on the issue in the streets of Traffic Chowk with different slogans in their hand. After a silent street protest, a delegation went inside the Traffic Police to put this matter to the traffic in-charge of Morang, Mr. Madan Giri, where we discussed the issue and agreed to organize a public talk program on the issue. A press release was made and distributed to the news agencies and the event was covered by five news agencies the following day, which helped in informing more citizens about our agenda and the issue. Bikalpa is looking forward to organizing the talk program with the Traffic and Municipal authorities of Biratnagar.