Nepal | September 30, 2020

Noise pollution alarming in Kathmandu

Himalayan News Service
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Kathmandu, June 24

Kathmanduties might not take noise pollution as an issue of concern amidst more alarming pollutions such as air and water, but noise pollution is growing at an alarming rate with the pollution limits exceeding in most of the places inside Kathmandu valley.

A report prepared by Environment Statistics of Nepal 2019 shows that areas with heavy traffic, commercial-cum-residential areas and industrial areas inside Kathmandu valley have exceeded the noise pollution limit set by the World Health Organisation.

Noise pollution is the propagation of noise with harmful impact on human activity or animal life. Noise pollution is measured in decibel (dBA) unit. According to the WHO, continuous exposure to noise pollution with more than 90 dBA could cause hearing problems and adversely affect the nervous system.

The WHO has set limit of 70 dBA  in ‘High Traffic Area’. The government research based on 11 such areas shows that only three cities had noise pollution between 65 to 70 dBA. Majority of such places such as Kalanki, Putalisadak, Maitighar, Kupondol and Suryabinayak had exceeded the limit both in the night and day time.

Similar picture was seen in ‘Commercial-Cum-Residence Area’ such as Asan, Naya Bazaar and Manbhawan where the research was conducted. The WHO limit for such areas is 64 dBA, all these areas have exceeded the limit, reaching up to 74 dBA at day time in Asan Chowk. The research conducted at various industrial areas such as Balaju Yantra Shala, Balaju Industrial Area and Patan Industrial Gate showed that all the areas exceeded the 70dBa limit. Balaju Industrial area had recorded noise pollution up to 78 dBA in the day time.

While, the government lacks control mechanism to bring down the noise pollution level, out of 4,076 industries across the country only 1.6 per cent had installed equipment to control sound pollution. These industries were divided into 19 sub-categories such as textile, food and beverage, wood products, tobacco, paper and so on. Doctors suggest that exposure to loud noise for a long time can cause permanent hearing loss besides other mental and physical disorders.

ENT specialist Dr Mira Bista said extreme noise pollution could cause various ailments such as sleep disturbance, hypertension and high blood pressure.


A version of this article appears in print on June 25, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.

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