Although water and air pollution have received attention at least at the verbal level, sound pollution which also exposes us to serious health hazards has yet to attract even that little attention. Factories and construction firms rampantly violate environmental laws by producing continuous grating sounds with their heavy machinery, going well beyond the limit fixed by the Noise Pollution (Control) Rules, 2006. The rules clearly prohibit the use of brick crushers within a 500-metre radius of a residential area and also restrict the use of loudspeakers without prior permission. Honking horns is also strictly prohibited in a 100-metre radius of hospitals, schools, colleges and offices.
In spite of such well pronounced laws and rules on sound pollution with specific provisions for punishment, we fail to understand why there has been no organized step from concerned government authorities. Understandably, checking sound pollution on the streets rests solely on the shoulders of Bangladesh Road Transport Authority and the traffic police but do they care?
Except for a few drives conducted by the Department of Environment (DoE), we have not seen any conspicuous government move to put brakes on sound polluters, least of all penalize them. Nor has there been any significant campaign to raise mass awareness either by the government or by any non-government organization. Resultantly, apart from the hefty fines realized by the DoE during its drives, there has been no substantial change as far as sound pollution goes.
There is also a particular need for massive campaigns to make people aware of the whole host of diseases that noise pollution causes, including depression, anxiety, risk of cardiac arrest, hearing losses and miscarriages, to name just a few. Alongside, monitoring by DoE, traffic police and other government bodies must be strengthened.