Tag Archives: hazard

Fresh air far away – The drain that pollutes South Lahore

By Farooq Khattak

Lahorites love to inhale a fresh whiff of air when they wake up in the morning or for that matter, at anytime of the day. Many of the lively-hearted Lahorites have planted flowering plants and shrubs by their houses or have placed earthen pots containing such plants by their bedrooms or in the corridors of their houses, for aesthetics and a whiff of fragrant air every now and then.

However, millions of residents of south Lahore have been denied this pleasure for the last decade or so. Its not that the people residing in this part of Lahore have less aesthetic sense or don’t care for a fresh breath of air in the mornings; they have been compelled to smell fetid air 24 hours a day seven days a week.

The reason is a storm water channel called Sattu Katla. The course of this rainwater drain runs through almost the entire south Lahore. It has been there since before Independence. It emanates somewhere close by Wahga border and passes close to Makkah Colony, the now abandoned Walton aerodrome, Askari Flats and some parts of cantonment area, R and S Blocks Model Town Extension, Township, Wapda Town and other localities beyond it and empties in River Ravi. Continue reading

Lahore’s ‘quietest’ areas exceed WHO noise limits

* Health expert says noise pollution can trigger both physiological and psychological problems

Abdul Manan writing in Daily Times

LAHORE: Though the affluent areas of Lahore are quieter than rest of the city, the noise level in these areas is still far higher than the standards set by the World Health Organisation (WHO), an Environment Protection Department (EPD) official told Daily Times on Monday.

Noise intensity is measured in decibels (dB) to illustrate different noise levels. The WHO standard for residential areas is 45dB, for commerical areas 55 dB, and for industrial areas 65 dB. People can normally bear noise up to 45 dB, but from 120 dB the ear begins to experience pain, and this level of noise can also impair hearing if experienced over a long period.

The EPD official said the noise level was recorded at an average of 75 dB in Defence Housing Authority (DHA), Gulberg and Model Town. He said the average noise level in the industrial areas was recorded as above 120 dB. “Noise pollution could be dramatically decreased by banning rickshaws,” he said.

He said noise should be considered a nuisance rather than an environmental problem, but that the EPD had not yet established any standards of noise pollution. “The EPD should propose amendments in the Pakistan Environment Protection Act 1997 in this regard,” he said, and added that major sources of noise were generators, vehicles, poor urban planning, factory machinery, construction work, aircraft, and railways.

Noise injures both physically and mentally: Mayo Hospital’s Dr Khalil said unwanted sound was defined as noise pollution. He said noise affects a person’s level of happiness and ability to perform activities. “Noise pollution can cause annoyance, aggression, and hypertension, and can impair hearing. Excessive exposure to loud noises can even cause tinnitus, a disorder in which a person hears sound in the absence of corresponding external sound,” he said. Continue reading