• Wednesday, Dec 01, 2021
  • Last Update : 12:42 pm

Silence is golden

  • Published at 12:01 am December 18th, 2019
The Noise Epidemic
Photo: Bigstock

Noise pollution is a city-wide issue

If there is one thing nearly synonymous with Dhaka, it is the city’s excessive levels of noise.

The problem is so severe that it is classified as a health hazard -- with particularly busy areas and intersections such as Farmgate, Shahbagh, and Mohakhali bus stand routinely experiencing noise levels ranging from 80dB to a staggering 110dB, a level harmful to the human ear.

This is an untenable situation.

Noise pollution is a serious issue that most countries treat with the utmost gravity, with specific laws and policies that discourage behaviour that exacerbate noise pollution -- behaviour such as unnecessary honking of car horns in the streets.

To that end, a new law which makes the Secretariat a “no horn zone” is a step in the right direction in tackling noise pollution. However, the limited scope of this law begs to be questioned.

Noise pollution is a city-wide issue, and while it is good to see this issue finally be tackled at a policy level, this new law does not even take the busiest intersections into account and simply focuses on keeping certain diplomatic zones free of noise.

Another area where the law falls somewhat short is in its punitive actions against offenders. While a Tk5,000 fine for anyone who breaks this law is still within the realm of acceptability, there is very little justification for offenders to serve a month-long jail time just for honking.

Having said that, to finally see laws being formulated to tackle such an egregious problem -- one that is making us all sicker as citizens -- is indeed heartening.

We hope that this law is a sign of things to come.

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