Noise pollution essentially perpetrated by hydraulic horns and VIP cars is going from bad to worse. For all the signages in different zones implementation is extremely difficult. Traffic police are at a loss in controlling traffic flow as it is and it’s literally impossible to track, control and fine vehicles blaring merrily away. Part stems from inability to stop traffic midway in the streets, part from stopping vehicles at all and the other part from the fear of the frog-croaking VVIP vehicles that seem to outnumber the VIPs officially on record.
Dhaka’s unplanned hospital zones have a lot to do with it, with most situated on the side of major traffic ways resulting in a cacophony of sirens and such signalling arrivals and departures no matter what the innocuous road signs might have to say. To add to this residential areas flooded with coaching centres are as good as dead with angry horns trying to weaves past indisciplined traffic, roadside vendors and gathering of persons oblivious to the flow of traffic.
To begin with there aren’t enough traffic cops on the roads and the matter isn’t made any easier by the VIP chores that they are forced to undergo. In so doing they hold up the traffic adding to the already chaotic situation that exists.
Weddings and other celebrations including religious ceremonies are unwelcome addition to the pollution as people use their multistoreyed buildings rather than community centres to blare out music and dance beats. It doesn’t bother them that there may be those delicate in health in the vicinity and who turn in concern at the lack of peace and quiet.
Police have little control and it’s a far cry from a court in France that is debating a rule of a different note. A neighbour has filed a case against another complaining at the early crowing of a rooster disturbing their morning sleep. Roosters are meant to crow at dawn but that’s more prevalent in open countryside and farms. This one happens to be a pet in a residential area. Should the ruling favour those disturbed, it will create a precedence of sorts.
As it is, there are several residential areas in the west where pets are banned mainly for cleanliness perspectives. Should the French local court rule otherwise, a part of lonely western life will come under a newer kind of threat. In a densely populated country such as ours people might well live with pets provided the main feature of sound pollution from vehicles and factories be addressed. As for generators, that’s something everyone will have to live with as long as the door to door electricity issue is resolved whenever that is.
*Mahmudur Rahman is a communication expert. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org