Published:  03:24 AM, 20 May 2017

Noise 3 times above normal in Dhaka

The intensity of noise pollution in the capital city Dhaka and different divisional cities in the country has become two to three times more than the normal limit causing serious threat to the environment as well as lives of city dwellers.  Due to its adverse effect, people are being affected with various diseases including deafness, high blood pressure, irritable mood, carelessness and mental disorders.

The rise of population, industries and transports are also main reasons behind this noise pollution, experts said. According to the Environment Department, the noise pollution is currently occurring in the city double than the tolerable levels. But there is no visible preventive measure. People face immense sufferings due to the noise pollution created from different welding works of iron and steel mills and workshops, horns or whistles of the vehicles, loud speakers used in campaign activities and noise of public gathering.

Azmat Ali, 42, a resident at Motijheel area said, "Sometimes, I feel sick due to intolerable sound of vehicles. Besides, sound of different loud speakers, which move on different streets in the city for publicity works, makes us irritated. But we have nothing to do in this regard except tolerate in a silent manner." 

"I have been facing hearing problems for the last half an year. When I went to doctor for treatment, the doctor informed me that the disease has created due to severe noise pollution. He also advised me to remain away from highly noise creating areas," said Alhaz Barkatullah, a retired government official of Gulisthan area. Like Azmat and Barkatullah, many people in the city said, the noise pollution is increasing day by day hampering the normal life.

Such loud sound derived from different sources including transports and industries are making lives irritable.  The Department of Environment sources said, they have fixed the levels of sound on the basis of locations. The intensity of sound has fixed for silent areas from 35 to 45 decibel, for residential areas from 40 to 50 decibel and for mixed areas from 50 to 60 decibel.

But transports' workers almost violate the directive. They play the horn their vehicles in a whimsical manner. Even they honk horns in front of hospitals and educational institutions flouting the directives.   The officials said, not only people of Dhaka city, people of different divisional cities including Chittagong and Sylhet are now being the victims of sound pollution. They are being affected in different auditory diseases due to excessive noise pollution.

They further said, the Department of Environment measured the levels of sound in five divisional cities in the country in 2016 for the first time. In their research, they came to know that, Farmgate area in Dhaka city is highly sound polluted area, where the sound level is 135.6 decibel. Besides, the intensity of sound is 139.6 decibel in Chittagong EPZ area. The levels of sound are almost similar at other cities in the country.

Lately, another survey was conducted at eight divisional cities in the country in 2017. While contacted, Farid Ahmed, Director of Sound Pollution Control Program in Environment Department said, "The levels of sound in all the cities and towns across the country have already exceeded its preset proportion and become two to three times high."

Ear, Nose and Throat specialist Dr Pran Gopal said, "High sound is very dangerous and harmful for patients and pregnant women. It is a silent killer. The silent killer sound pollution is a serious threat for the next generation. Only 85 to 90 decibel sound level is seriously harmful for our ears and brains."

Experts said, overpopulation in the country creates various types of necessities in different cities and towns. To fulfill these, people are continuously moving from one place to another and doing various works that creating severe sound pollution. To stop sound pollution, reforms of the existing law are must except creating public awareness.  

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