The Environment Department has come forward with dire warnings regarding the state of pollution in Khulna – particularly air and sound pollution, both of which are now contended as “out of control” by the ED.
Experts say inhaling polluted air causes lung cancer and other lung diseases, while sound pollution beyond tolerable levels causes various problems to the human body.Khulna Divisional Environment Department revealed a data analysis of air and sound pollution from 2014 to 2018 that actually reveals the truth about a gradual increase of pollution.
Environment Department says 40 decibels to maximum 75 decibels sound level is tolerable during day and night in residential, mixed, industrial areas.
Meanwhile 200 microgram SPM (suspended particulate matter) in 1 cubic meter air is tolerable which is measured by volume sampler.
According to the data of Divisional Environment Department, sound pollution was recorded at 18 points out of 20 in Khulna in 2014. In 2015 it found 14 points of 18 polluted. In 2016, 13 points of 18, in 2017 sound pollution recorded in all of 27 of 28 points and 28 points of 30 were polluted in 2018.
Air pollution beyond tolerable levels was recorded at 7 points out of 25 in 2017 and at 4 points out of 25 in 2018, showing decreasing air pollution in 2017 and 2018 than the previous years.
Mahfuzur Rahman Mukul, coordinator of Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA) said, “Environment Department has been measuring air and sound pollution every year but takes no action to control it. Vehicles are using hydraulic horns in front of schools, hospitals,” he added.He said brick kilns and battery factories are also violating environment laws triggering pollution.
Khulna Divisional Director of Environment Department Md Habibul Haque Khan said the main causes of sound pollution are easy-bike horns, sub-standard generators in residential areas and several welding workshops in the city.
He noted some specific causes for air pollution as wood burning in brick kilns, absence of dust collectors in cement factories, coal stacking in open place, old battery recycling, burning tyres for making oil and making powder ink from straw burning in the city.
Habibul Haque Khan claimed that his department has been executing drives against air and sound pollution in the city.
The department informed the concerned ministry, as there is no sufficient sound leveling meter and high volume sampler in ten districts of the division, he added.
Prof Dr Dilip Kumar Dutta of Environment Science department of Khulna University said sound pollution causes high blood pressure, decrease of hearing power, and disrupts concentration and sleep. Air pollution causes lung cancer and coughing. It also reduces the oxygen consumption rate.
Prof Dilip also claimed to raise mass awareness about air and sound pollution including law enforcement for effective respite from pollution.