Pay per Noise

21 Jan

Murali has a new “business idea” for the Bangalore Mahanagara Palika (BMP). Actually if you think about it, its probably more profitable than any other scheme they have in place and has unlimited potential. Heres the idea in his own words.

This morning a maxi-cab driver really had me fuming for while and then switch to thinking about the problem that people like him posed. Noise Pollution!

On the busy 24th main of JP Nagar, this fellow was honking incessantly. He was so loud and persistent that I pulled over and let him have the pleasure of parking in front of me at the traffic signal. Another “noise pollution” situation that all of us can relate to, is the irritating cell phone ring tones, at the most inappropriate places – auditoriums, schools, hospitals, temples. So I started fantasizing about a world where such offenders could be penalized and if technology could help alleviate this situation. Maybe it can… (I am yet to patent these 🙂 ).

What if we are only-allowed to use horns with in-built decibel meters? These meters would keep cumulative totals of how much noise each one of us generates. And every month we pay a “Noise Cess” to the BMP/RTO based on the number of units we generate. The first (say) 50 units would be free as allowance for genuine honk-requiring situations. Anything above the free units would be billed – for the privilege of creating noise. Wouldn’t Bangalore be a quieter place?

For mobile phones we could envisage a two-pronged strategy.

The mobiles should have an in-built dB-meter and we pay a “Noise Cess” as part of our cell phone bills, depending on how much noise we contribute to the society.

All designated “quiet zones” such as auditoriums etc, install equipment to transmit a certain signal that demarcates the quiet zone. The cell phones would have in-built quiet-zone signal detection ability. The moment the phones detect entering the quiet-zone, they automatically switch to vibrate mode.

Costs nothing to dream, right? Maybe I should write a follow-up on why I think it will not work.


13 Responses to “Pay per Noise”

  1. Veena Shivanna January 22, 2007 at 5:35 am #

    Humourous & very good. This is should be in your BB blog..! Its a business idea.
    Decibel meters — aha… I would say, invent something which you can have it to your ears like a audible with lesser amplitude(modulation).. Its easier this way since you are not trying to control others but doing something on yourself.
    You can have that equipment which reduces the volume(noise) & you can hear it lesser or you can even mute it 🙂
    Acostics in theatre works this way I guess !!

  2. SomeBody January 22, 2007 at 5:47 am #

    I would settle down to bash up that bad BPO driver for every 50 points earned in lighter vein!!!

    Every driver thinks he has to be given WAY… the bigger the better it seems. So honking is the birth right of the driver…this mindset has to change..

    Another big mindset change is that pedastrians are the kings of road and should be honured when ever they are on road ( am not professing jay walking)

    Untill our RTO burns these kind of elementary things into their brains, none of the gadgets will actually curb such activities.

    Footnote: My neighbours 14 year old takes his pappas bike on a zoom and on repramind flashes a 100 Re note and says this is the Fine money!!

  3. prashanth m January 22, 2007 at 6:55 am #

    ROTFL!! What an idea!!

    and on the other hand, if just honking clears off the traffic, then I would fit a 1500W speakers to my bike’s horn 😛

  4. Vijay January 22, 2007 at 8:50 am #

    Veena: We have a guy next door who blares his horn so someone in his house can open the gate for him… my son and I keep plotting and dreaming about how we can stop him from doing it.. my son came up with this idea “Why not have another horn on the inside of his car so that he can hear it when he honks..”

    Prashanth: 1500W speakers.. that way you honk here and the traffic clears in Kunigal 🙂

  5. praneshachar January 22, 2007 at 8:54 am #

    great ideas i wish BMP/RTO people will not read it otherwise they will have one more novel idea of increasing their fat.
    your’s is a very good idea inventing something to control at your end probalbly with a remote machine in the ear remote in the packet great and workable proposition nodi try madi

    what is difference between Yemme and MLA
    yemme tirugadiknodu meyttave
    MLA kutkonde meyttare
    NINNe gangavathi Beechi pranesh avara nage karyakramada ondu tunuku

  6. Vijay January 22, 2007 at 9:02 am #

    Praneshachar: Good comparisons…. I hope the yemmes will not take offence.

  7. Murali Partha January 22, 2007 at 9:40 am #

    Veena – The noise reducing devices would be great. Actually I am so happy that BMTC has very responsibly “muted” all their buses. Otherwise imagine the havoc those devils would have crated! But it is so funny to see these huge beasts, bleating pathetically when they open their mouth these days.

    SB: Yes – I wish beating up people is possible. Would reduce road-rage if you can give vent in this manner.

    Really some sort of poetic justice should prevail where these insensitive creators of cacophony can be forced to listen to their creation.

  8. Veena Shivanna January 24, 2007 at 5:25 am #

    More Pathetic is , I am sleeping at 11:30pm & a guy just drives his what-ever-2 wheeler with his trumphet on(may be that 1000W speakers) without his silencers.
    Forget about me, just think about elders, paapa patients anthavarige eshtu tondre alva.. entha attention seeking yuva janateno naa kaaNe ivarella 🙂

  9. Alex April 21, 2007 at 5:13 pm #

    There is this neighbour of mine (in bangalore) who is bent upon spoiling the peace and quietness of the road we live in. She conducts Music classes early in the morning at her house and the crooning is audible almost 200m away. This disturbs our sleep as well as our mood every morning . And once she is done with her music classes she turns on the TV with very high volume. The situations gets worse on holidays or on a weekend when their home theater system is switched on.

    My parents are 60 years old and cannot bear such high decible levels. Repeated requests and fights have yeilded no response / improvements.

    This couple (our neighbours) is a young couple with two young school going kids. I wonder how they bear such high decible levels. These aare educated people behaving in such ignorant and socially irresponsible manner.

    Is anyone aware of what the laws are to curb such a menace and any equipment to help disturb their noise generating equipment and help reduce the noise levels inside our home. !!

    Only a public crusade and agitation against such socially irresponsible behaviour will help curb this menace.

  10. Vijay April 22, 2007 at 3:50 pm #

    Alex… that is indeed annoying.. problem here is that I dont think theres any law.. and if there is, it is buried under some dusty files… I do know that theres a “noise” law for after 10 PM…
    Its more a case of lack of civic sense… I’ll put this up as a main post and lets see the response…

  11. seema April 24, 2008 at 10:47 am #

    We would like you to write for our products on regular basis. Please email me the details.

  12. neil June 15, 2008 at 2:37 pm #

    hey the ideas about having another horn inside the car and all made me recollect something. I read once about how noise-cancelling headphones record outside noise, and replay them, but invert them, so that the inverse waves cancel out the noise outside. maybe the civic authority, the BMC in my case(i live in mumbai), should drive vans around, with larger versions of this mechanism mounted on them, so they would act somewhat like a sponge, soaking up all the sound. they should have these vans parked outside special events like rock concerts and political gatherings and music schools and stuff. the BMC should also start a service for renting out equipment like this, and people conducting weddings and stuff should be forced to use those devices or pay a fine if the sound gets too loud. i now recollect a newspaper report about how these devices were used all around banganga tank during some special festival there, so that the noise wouldnt disturb others…


  1. Noise Pollution - Law vs Civic Sense « Bangalore Blues - April 22, 2007

    […] Pollution – Law vs Civic Sense Alex from Bangalore posted a comment on an older post “Pay Per Noise” which was Murali’s satire on Noise Pollution. However his comments were serious and […]

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