Hanoians drowned out by rising noise pollution

June 15, 2018 - 09:00

As in other big cities across the country, Hà Nội’s residents are suffering from serious noise pollution.

A traffic jam occurs at the Bạch Mai-Tạ Quang Bửu intersection in Hà Nội. Local residents are suffering from serious noise pollution partially caused by traffic jams. — VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI — As in other big cities across the country, Hà Nội’s residents are suffering from serious noise pollution, reported Kinh Tế & Đô Thị (Economy and City) newspaper.

Noise pollution in big cities and urban areas has become more severe, causing bad quality of life, but punishment handed down to the culprits remains ineffective.

Noise pollution is attributed to traffic, factories and constructions sites. With the increase in the number of vehicles, traffic congestion in big cities has become more severe and the growl of engines is growing.

Honking drivers only adds to the problem, while loud music from bars, restaurants and stores is also disruptive.

The noise is said to be a potential risk to people’s health.

On crowded streets such as Láng, Trần Duy Hưng, Trường Chinh and Phạm Hùng during rush hour, the noise from the horns and engines is enough to drive some people mad.

Despite no-honking signs located along the streets, some drivers have fitted extra-loud horns on their vehicles hoping to escape the crowded streets as soon as possible.

Hoàng Thị Thu, a resident living on Lê Đức Thọ Street in Nam Từ Liêm District, said: “Every day I have to drive my children to and from school by motorbike, and then I go to the office. I always feel stressed by all the noise, dust and traffic congestion”.

People in the inner city are also hit by the noise of urbanisation coming from construction sites, the paper said.

Nguyễn Văn Vũ, a resident of the Dịch Vọng Hậu residential area in Cầu Giấy District, complained that due to a number of high-rise buildings near his house, people were suffering from the noise of bulldozers, excavators, drills and concrete mixers at night.

“We are tortured by the noise,” said Vũ.

Shops and department stores are not helping either, blaring out loud music and advertisements, let alone mobile karaoke singers looking for tips in every corner of the city.

Phan Thanh Ba from Cầu Giấy District, living on Xuân Thủy Street, lined by stores selling various products from clothes and electronics to mobile phones and food, said life was really uncomfortable.

“The stores often play music loudly to attract customers to buy their products, and it even lasts until midnight. It is really disruptive when people want to go to sleep and have to get up early to go to work,” he said.

Sadly, Hanoians are tortured by different kinds of noise day and night.

According to studies conducted by the Institute of Occupational Health and Environment, the average noise on 12 main roads and junctions across the city ranged from a deafening 77.8 to 78.1 decibels (dBA) in the daytime, exceeding the permitted levels of 7.8-8.1dBA, to average levels at night of 65.3 to 75.7, far exceeding the level of 10-20dBA.

Scientific studies prove that if noise exceeds the standard norms, it can badly affect people’s productivity.

Levels of 90dBA or more can also affect blood pressure and gastro function, and cause tiredness, insomnia, hearing impairments and severe nervous breakdowns.

According to experts, reducing noise in the city was not a "mission impossible". They suggested limiting private vehicles, controlling advertisements and growing more trees to create more green spaces in the city.

Strict sanctions for organisations and individuals that exceed permitted levels are also necessary, while people should be more aware of the noise they emit in order to improve quality of life in the city. — VNS