In a symbolic gesture, Meghalaya police today destroyed 181 illegally modified silencers with a road roller.
The silencers had been seized in a police drive that began in August to cut down on excessive vehicular noise. In the process, the police have netted more than Rs 12.46 lakh in fines.
The silencers were crushed at the Police Reserve compound here in front of the Superintendent of Police of East Khasi Hills Sylvester Nongtnger, SP City Vivek Syiem, SP (Traffic) Kamakhya Prasad, Deputy SP (Traffic) Joel Marngar and others.
The Shillong Traffic Police have been on a drive to end the nuisance caused by modified silencers and have detected 320 of them but seized only 181.
According to Nongtnger, at first the police ordered the 320 vehicle owners who were caught with illegal silencers to change them. However, it was realised that many ignored the warning and that is why it was decided to destroy them today.
“STP will continue to detect all modified silencers that are not permissible. The detected silencers are both of two and four wheelers but the maximum were from two wheelers,” he added.
Asked what are the penalty provisions for using these modified silencers, Marngar said that they are looking at the alteration and for each alteration Rs 5,000 fine is imposed as per Motor Vehicles Act.
“We want to send a message that they should not alter anything and not fiddle with what has been provided by the company. Tinted glass will also come in later, this is the first step. Today we have crushed the silencers, maybe in future we can sell them for scrap but as of now we want to show the citizens that we mean business,” Nongtnger said.
Syiem added that there has been a public outcry against these modified exhaust pipes. “It has become a social nuisance where there is a lot of noise, especially at unearthly hours. This noise is disturbing for children studying and also for senior citizens. We also thank the public for helping us and giving us information by sending or calling us on the number 112,” he said.
The East Khasi Hills SP also added that the police are on the job to tackle rash driving.
Syiem informed that the STP and personnel from individual police stations have set up checkpoints in various places, especially at night, to check on those who are driving under the influence of alcohol. He said that they are concerned about young people drinking and driving as well as those who are driving without a licence.
“So we have set up these nakas to check all these things. After checking, incidences have drastically reduced but we urge parents not to give two wheelers or cars (to their children) when they have not acquired the licence. We have also conducted surprise checking in one way, where there is no entry, some people violate and we have seen it has caused fatal accidents and loss of lives,” Syiem said.