Nagging noise pollution keeps killing
According to a news report of this daily, people are not following the guidelines of Bangladesh Noise Pollution Controls Rules (2006) which is causing serious noise pollution and damaging people's hearing ability. About 50 decibel sound level during the day time and 40 decibel sound level at night are allowed in the silent zones but the irony is in the busy and crowded Dhaka the sound level is between 80 and 150 decibels (dB) on an average.
Undeniably, noise pollution is a silent killer. No roads in Dhaka city can be found where the 'noise rules' are being followed. Many environmentalists termed the current stage of noise pollution in Bangladesh as 'noise terrorism'. The main source of this sound pollution is usually the vehicle horns. According to the Economist's Intelligence list, Bangladesh is the second most uninhabitable city in the world and one of the reasons behind it is sound pollution. Moreover, different media reports also claim that at least 61 per cent Dhaka dwellers are suffering from depression and mental problem which is linked with 'noise pollution'.
Furthermore, as per World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to sound above 60 dB can cause temporary deafness and prolonged exposure to sound above 100 dB can lead to hearing impairment. The most affected by the increasing noise pollution are children, the elderly and expecting mothers. According to Otologists, exposure to noise can affect the condition of a foetus and even lead to premature delivery.
The Environment Minister last year said that his ministry with the help of Department of Environment (DoE) took several steps to prevent noise pollution. However none of them are followed by citizens. In reality, the noise pollution limit exceeded after the government had withdrawn the lockdown. We have been witnessing rampant traffic jams in roads not following any traffic or noise rules.
Although rules have been formulated to reduce sound pollution, but zero implementation has led to the deterioration of the situation. Often these rules are violated with impunity under the very noses of law enforcement authorities. It has been clearly stated in the Secretariat road that one has to pay fine for honking. But in reality, privileged flagged cars honk the most.
It is high time the authorities concerned took noise pollution seriously and strictly enforced related laws to address it. We hope the DoE will act on its promise while our law enforcers begin to rigorously implement the formulated legal code to curb noise pollution.