It is startling to note that as many as 65 per cent of traffic policemen manning roads in the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka are facing hearing and sleeping problems due to high noise levels in the city, according to a study done by Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University. Last month, a UN Environment Program (UNEP) report ranked Dhaka as the most noise polluted city in the world. The noise level most of the time in this city is more than twice the tolerable standard, which is causing long term damage to physical and mental health of the city dwellers
Because of rapid urbanization and industrialization, noise pollution is increasing in the capital and adversely affecting the environment of this city while causing physical and psychological problems. Experts are of the opinion that noise pollution causes auditory fatigue, high blood pressure, headache, indigestion and affects sleep. Despite the well-established adverse effects of noise pollution on human health and life, widespread breach of decibel levels continues unabated.
Noise is produced from different sources like traffic, hydrolic horns, aircraft, construction and repair activities, industrial operation and so on. Study suggests that hydraulic horns of vehicles are the main source of noise pollution in Dhaka. Traffic policemen are at an increased risk of hearing problems because they are engaged in controlling traffic. The traffic police serving many years together in the field are diagnosed with hearing problems. Also, it has been observed that pregnant mothers living near big airports give birth to more crippled, deformed and immature children than those living in other places.
Sound pollution can be
reduced through enforcement
of laws and increasing
There is no denying that the problems of air and water pollution have received much publicity through media, but there seems to be a lack of awareness in case of noise pollution. Over the years a little progress has been made to contain this growing problem. Still we have not been vocal enough about the adverse effect of noise pollution, which is no longer just a minor health hazard.
Sound pollution can be reduced through enforcement of laws and increasing public awareness. It is time to take strict measures to control the level of noise pollution in the city. We must take this growing menace seriously and devise required measures to enforce related laws to address it. Authorities concerned should implement noise monitoring rules and regulations.
We believe, proper management can reduce the noise level and rid the Dhaka dwellers of the harmful effects of sound pollution. We, therefore, feel that city authorities including two city corporations should devise appropriate plans, ensure good governance and strictly enforce laws to reduce extreme sound pollution in Dhaka.