Radio talk show on what needs to be done to control sound pollution on-aired 23 April 2016 at the government owned radio channel Bangladesh Betar. This talk shows are fortnightly program titled Bigyan o Poribesh (Science and Environment), hosted (moderator and script writer) by Aminul Islam Sujon.
Being as moderator, I welcomed listeners and started talk show. Coming 27th April 2016 is International Noise Awareness Day. Last several years by the non-government and civil society organizations, this Day is also celebrating in Bangladesh. In recent days, government organizations in particular, Department of Environment of the Ministry of Environment and Forest has been taken various initiatives to reduce sound pollution. We hope that by the government and non-government efforts against sound pollution, it will reduce in Bangladesh. Therefore, we everyone should be responsible to save environment and to reduce sound pollution. On upcoming International Noise Awareness Day, our today’s discussion is ‘what needs to be done to control sound pollution’.
First, I invited first Mr. Abu Naser Khan, chairman of Poribesh Bachao Andolon (POBA- Save the Environment Movement). He is eminent environmentalist and leading environmental movement for 2 decades. As sound pollution creates many problems, how you see these problems, what is current scenario of sound pollution? At the same time, what are the initiatives taken by the civil society and non-government organizations to reduce sound pollution?
Mr. Abu Naser Khan said that, we are working for long to control sound pollution. If we see the major sources of sound pollution, and what kind of initiatives are necessary to control each of sources of sound pollution, we are now moving forward. Main causes of sound pollution are horn of motor vehicles, including motor cycle, private car, and bus-truck. Most of motor vehicles using high volume horns that dangerous for public health. Sound pollution is major environmental and health problem.
In addition, in urban areas, many new buildings are constructing and old buildings are demolishing to construct new buildings. So doing these works, many machines are using which causes to sound pollution. Though, electricity is improved, but still generators are using during load-shading in many places, including markets, which also causes to sound pollution. Industries and factories are other causes of sound pollution. Often, high volume music is creates problem and causes to sound pollution as well.
Now if we want to control these sources of sound pollution that I mentioned, the first question is that how these sources are controlling in Bangladesh? As we know that we have a law in Bangladesh titled ‘Environment (protection) Law’ and under this law, we have ‘Sound Pollution Control Rules 2006’. Department of Environment is key stakeholder to implement this law. But implementation of Sound Pollution Rules in the field level is very weak. Even they are inactive in many places and impossible for various reasons. For example, with the existing resources, workforce and mechanism, to control sound from motor vehicles horn is not possible for department of environment. They are not able to go to everywhere to check vehicles horn. But they can get support from others, for example police and Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA). It means Department of Environment can effectively control sound pollution through coordinating with other effective government bodies.
At first, hydraulic and high volume horn that causes to sound pollution and affects to public health, these should not be imported and should not use in vehicle. Ministry of Commerce and their respective departments which control all imported goods, they can ensure that no hydraulic and high volume horn will not import in Bangladesh. BRTA should monitor and ensure that no vehicles are using these hazardous horns as BRTA is regulatory body for all road transports and provide driving licenses to all drivers. Ministry of Industries have to ensure that all industries respectful to environmental laws, rules and policies. But department of environment will look after all these activities by the different organizations and should coordinate all of them to control sound pollution.
The other problem is that, sometime vehicle drivers continually use horn without any reason, such as in signal, especially motor cycles and private cars. However, private cars controlled by owner while its on road, rather than the driver. Drivers just follow the directions provided by owners. If owners are not aware about sound pollution caused by horn, then it would be difficult to implement. If government also included clause in the driving license test and vehicle registration, then vehicle-based sound pollution can control.
Department of Environment can develop a proper plan to identify the specific stakeholders of sources of sound pollution and they should coordinate and make all others active.
Then I’ve invited Mr. Farid Ahmed, Director of the Coordinated and Partnership Activities on Sound Pollution Control by the Department of Environment. He is leading sound pollution control activities on behalf of Department of Environment. I asked a question to Mr. Farid Ahmed that, what are the initiatives are ongoing by the government of Bangladesh to control sound pollution and what is the future plan?
Farid Ahmed said that, sound is one of major medium of communicatifon. But when this sound limits the cross of volume, then we call it sound pollution. Sound pollution is increasing in Bangladesh, particularly in major big cities. Government of Bangladesh has concerned this raising problem and passed Sound Pollution Control Rules. To ensure implementation of Sound Pollution Control Rules, government has taken a new initiative. By this initiative, Department of Environment will implement various kinds of activities collaborating with other relevant agencies. For example, Bangladesh Road Transport Authority (BRTA) and Bangladesh Police – they are responsible to enforcement the rules with us.
We will organize many capacity building trainings for concerned officials from BRTA, Bangladeshi Police and department of Environment about sound pollution rules and their roles to implement it. I hope that through trainings, they will play active role to control sound pollution in their respective jurisdiction. Either Department of Environment, neither BRTA have adequate machine to identify the sound pollution area and sources. So by this project, we will collect 200 machines which will be used in various parts of the country. We will also train concerned official how to use these machines. So that these government bodies, Bangladeshi Police, BRTA and Department of Environment will play more active role in future to control sound pollution.
By this project, we will also do survey in 7 divisional cities, where sound pollution is big concern. By this survey, we would understand well about the sources and areas of sound pollution. At the same time we will also do perception survey, by which we would understand peoples view and response about sound pollution. We can also develop a guideline on how to implement sound pollution control rules effectively and will provide necessary recommendations to the government.
We will also train drivers and transport owners as well. So, they can play more active roles to control sound pollution in future. In these activities, we would like included future generations including school-going students and will provide them necessary training on sound pollution. We hope they would also involve controlling sound pollution. At the same time, when they will be adult and join in profession, they will be able to control sound pollution. We will develop several TV spots to create more awareness on sound pollution and to involve mass people into sound pollution control activities.
Being moderator, I’ve concluded this talk show as I said that, if we all citizen being responsible to society, then we can able to reduce environmental pollution as well as sound pollution. I would recommend everyone to involve on controlling sound pollution from your own position.
At last I’ve concluded this talk show with wishing everyone good health.
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