Speakers at a discussion on Wednesday urged the government to amend the existing laws and enforce those strictly to control sound pollution, as Dhaka has been ranked as the noisiest city in the world.
They also suggested the Department of Environment (DoE) and other government agencies concerned to go for massive awareness programme against sound pollution across the country.
Environmentalists from the government and non-government entities, ENT doctors, researchers, lawyers, journalists and academicians spoke at the workshop - "Role of Stakeholders in Noise Pollution Control".
The DoE organised the workshop at its office in Dhaka on Wednesday. DoE Director General Dr. Abdul Hamid presided over it.
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Minister Md. Shahab Uddin was present as the chief guest of the programme.
Deputy Minister for Environment Habibun Nahar, ministry's Secretary Dr. Farhina Ahmed, and Vice-Chancellor of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Professor Dr. Pran Gopal Dutta were the special guests.
Besides, Director General of Islamic Foundation Md. Mushfiqur Rahman, President of National Press Club Farida Yasmin, Executive Director of BELA Syeda Rizwana Hasan, Senior Advocate Monzil Morshed, Associate Professor (ENT) of Dhaka Medical College Hospital Dr. Husnay Qamar Osmani, and Project Director Syeda Masuma Khanam also spoke on the occasion.
According to the recently released report - "Frontiers 2022: Noise, Blazes and Mismatches" - of the United Nations Environment Programme, Dhaka is the worst city in terms of sound pollution.
Moradabad of India's Uttar Pradesh and Islamabad of Pakistan are the second and third worst city. Another Bangladeshi city, Rajshahi, has been ranked fourth in the list.
The report has found that the average noise level in Dhaka is 119 decibels (dB), the highest in the world in 2021. As per the 1999 WHO guidelines for community noise level, the recommended limits are 55dB for residential areas and 70dB for traffic and commercial areas. Speakers at the workshop also said lack of coordinated actions by the government agencies concerned to mitigate sound pollution and lack of awareness among people have contributed to make Dhaka the nosiest city in the world.
Environment Minister Shahab Uddin said since the unbearable level of noise has an adverse impact on human health and environment, the government is working to control the pollution on a priority basis.
Monzil Morshed said the existing laws and the rules are so weak that the sound polluters are not being punished. Syeda Rizwana Hasan echoed the same opinion.