Mumbai: Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray on Thursday said his proposal seeking higher audibility of ambulance sirens got clearance by the Centre and Maharashtra government, even as he was slammed by environmentalists who say awareness on this front was the need of the hour.
“Extremely pleased to receive a phone call frm Minister Ramdas Kadam ji about my proposal being approved by concerned depts of the Union and the State Governments,” Aaditya tweeted.
He said that he had proposed an amendment to the rules to have two levels of audibility for ambulance sirens. One at the current level and the other a higher audibility siren at 120 decibels for traffic.
“Often in peak traffic, we find ambulances stuck with their sirens blazing but not audible beyond a few cars ahead or to the traffic police standing at junctions. With siren limits increased to range between 110-120 db, it will be heard right up ahead, like the sirens in other cities like NY, London,” Aaditya said. He said this will largely help the ambulances and traffic police to communicate in high traffic zones and clear out faster in emergencies.
As per the existing norms and the National Green Tribunal (NGT) orders, the ambulance sirens cannot exceed 10 decibles over the existing ambient levels. Typically, this would mean a range of 85-90 db in Mumbai.
Responding to his tweet, Debi Goenka, Executive Trustee of Conservation Action Trust, said that traffic will not move even if ambulances are allowed sirens of upto 220 decibels.
“The problem is that there is no system of managing traffic. If they cannot see a huge ambulance with flashing lights, no sound will make a difference. Sensitisation is needed,” he said.
“Higher noise levels are not desirable for anybody. It only causes additional stress and health hazards for common citizens,” Goenka said.
Kishor Rithe of Satpuda Foundation, which works in the field of environment, forest and wildlife protection, said no vehicle will give space to an ambulance unless there are changes in traffic regulations.
“There is simply no awareness and people will not listen unless there are regulations. Once the government starts penalising people for obstructing the way of an ambulance, everyone will fall in line. Increasing the sound of sirens will not help the cause,” Rithe said.