Dhaka, Bangladesh
Steps against sound pollution

Steps against sound pollution

Sound pollution has been the bane of city dwellers in recent times. With traffic horns, sounds of vehicles, use of microphones and many other sources of sound, going out in the city or even staying at home is painful. Green activists at a discussion in the city urged the authorities concerned to take immediate steps to put an end to growing sound pollution in the capital They said though the government has announced Sound Pollution (Control) Rules (2006) to cut sound pollution , it is hardly enforced. Poribesh Bachao Andolon (Poba) and environmental group arranged the discussion at its city office. Chaired by the former additional director of DoE, Engineer Abdus Sobhan, the discussion was addressed among others by WBB Project Coordi-nator Naznin Kabir, president of Bangladesh Peace Movment, Professor Kamal Ataur Rahman, environmental activist Mahbub Haque and Poba coordinator Atiq Morshed. The Department of Environment (DoE), city corporations, RAJUK, local government bodies and law enforcing agencies should take measuers to stop sound pollution. Noise and sound pollution can harm peole's health, causing hearing loss or mental stress and even hypertension, especially among children and elderly peole. According to the findiongs of a recent survey, sound levels everywhere in the capital are double the limit permitted by the Sound Pollution Control Rules 2006. A Poba survey reveals thet sound level was recorded in 'silent zones' at 84 to 100 decibels while the sound level at residential areas at 84-93 decibel, 'mixed areas' at 88 to 102 decibels and 'commercial areas' at 86-103 decibels. The recorded sound levels exceed the approved limits by 150 to 200 percent. According to the rules, daytime or nighttime permissible sound levels are 50/40 in silent zones, 55/ 45 in residential areas, 60/50 in mixed areas, 70.60 in commercial areas and 76/70 in industrial areas. R I Shaheen Fatullah, Narayanganj Stop smoking in public One has to implement the law against public smoking in the divisional towns of Dhaka, Chittagong and others, just a sin Indian cites of Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Gauhati, Agartala. In the towns of our country, due to public consciousness, public smoking has reduced in buses, trains and launches. But in rickshaws, shops and on the roads there is public smoking affecting non-smokers, women and children. We have to stop smoking in the secretariat, government offices, school, college and universities, police stations. The law should be implemented and Taka five hundred fine imposed. Due to smoking, there is cancer and other diseases. We have to hate smoking. The government should take steps to make ours a smoking-free country. Mahbub Choudhury Faridabad, Dhaka Poor fire safety Although many high-rise commercial buildings have been occupied without fulfilling the fire safety standards, those are yet to be identified because 99 percent of the owners are least bothered about having occupancy certificates following the approval of the building plans. The fire service officials raised concern over the increase in factory buildings in the city in an unplanned way and stressed the need for having stricter rules to regulate the fire safety measures all kinds of buildings — residential, commercial and industrial — big or small. Only 1 in 100 owners of high-rise buildings cares about collecting the occupancy certificate, leaving the authorities in the absolute dark about their fire safety standards. Buildings higher than six-storey are multi-storey ones and occupancy (suitable for accommodation) certificates are to be collected for setting up such high-rise buildings. Cemical industry owners require to take the no-objection certificates whatever the height is.The Fire Service have decided to issue notices on the owners who took no-objection certificates for their building plans, but did not receive occupancy certificates after completing their building construction.They also said legal action will also be taken against the errant owners. The Fire Service and Civil Defence Directorate, are operating mobile-court drives to make sure owners build buildings complying with the building code.Besides lack of information about the occupancy status of the buildings, another major concern over fire safety is the unplanned expansion of industries in the city area.Roads in many areas in the capital, especially in its old part, are narrow for which fire fighters in vehicles cannot reach in time if fire breaks out there, he said, adding that there is no adequate water source in different spots of the city. It should be mandatory for the owners of all kinds of buildings to take clearance from fire service authorities before installing utility (gas, water and electricity) lines after buildings construction. Dipankar Dey Lakshmi Bazar, Dhaka

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