Home is a place where we have some peace of mind away from the troubles and worries of the society. One aspect of that is having proper sleep and an environment with absence of external stimuli. We all agree on this fact and as a law abiding citizens and based on the teachings of Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW), most of us try to avoid causing any trouble to our neighbours.
However, like all other societies, in Pakistan too; there are people who ignore the rights of there neighbours for there own personal benefits, ease in there life or greed. Problems caused by such entities can be many such as polluting air & water or doing constructions which blocks sunlights etc but one aspect that we can't ignore is "causing noise pollution in residential area"
Most of us aren't aware of the fact that Government of Pakistan has already done necessary legislation through Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency (PEPA) to define the levels of air, water and noise pollution in residential, commercial & industrial areas. As per PEPA, a person cannot make noise of levels exceeding 55 decibel at day time and more than 45 decibels at night time in residential areas. Complete details of the act can be found here
To compare these levels to real life noises and sounds, following is a rough reference from this site:
Noises that Cause Pain and Possible Permanent Damage to the Ears Above 140 decibels - gun going off, fireworks, rocket launch, aircraft carrier
- 130 - average rooster crowing, jet engine
Noises with the Ability to Cause Temporary Hearing Loss
- 120 decibels - police siren, thunder, chain saw
- 110 - rock concert
- 100 - helicopters, planes, motorcycles
- 95 - violin, drilling
- 90 - dog barking, yelling, train whistle, lawnmower
Slightly Irritating Noises
- 85 decibels - saw, mixer
- 80 - alarm clock, doorbell, telephone dial tone, dishwasher
- 70 - loud television, vacuum cleaner, piano music, passing cars
Comfortable Noise Levels
- 60 decibels - hens clucking, normal human conversation
- 55 - coffee maker
- 40 - cat meowing, wild birds
- 30 - background noise, whispering
- 10 - a leaf falling, breathing
- 0 - near total silence
As one can see, most of us live in a very noisy and unhealthy environment and even our homes aren't safe from it. For example, it's a common practice by many to keep hens and roosters in there home as well as barking dogs in open area. Both of these make noise way above the limit specified by PEPA for residential areas. Even one study suggests that the noise of rooster crow is damaging to human ear at the same level as a person standing at 50 ft next to a Jet engine. Yet we are completely unaware of such facts.
Noise pollution not only disturb our personal lives, but can also cause mental diseases such as stress, anxiety etc when a person is exposed to it for prolonged periods. Based on these facts, I think you will agree with me that the decrease in our patience in our national and our short temperdeness can be attributed to noise pollution or at least as one aspect of it.
Said that, I will like to request our Minister of Climate Change and Director of Pakistan Environmental Protection Agency to take practical steps in order to:
- Raise awareness among the public about there rights in regards of pollution, specifically in regards to residential area
- Provide legal framework for public so that disputes relating to noise pollution between people can be solved easily
- Enforce the laws regarding pollution in residential areas and legally punish those who refuse to obey them
I hope that such steps will lead to a more peaceful and healthier Pakistan for the betterment of all of us!