No plan to cut noise pollution from governor candidates
The coordinator of a civic group pushing for the reduction of noise pollution in Bangkok said none of the city governor candidates seems to have paid much attention to the issue - but the group is making inroads in reducing noise by talking directly to its target groups.
Oraya Sutabutr, coordinator of the Quiet Bangkok group, said candidates do not appear to recognise the issue as a problem for Bangkokians. "They don't seem to get it and do not see it as a problem. Many also think noise and big cities are part and parcel."
The group has lobbied and persuaded building owners ranging from five-star hotels to department stores to cease the use of traffic whistles and has been successful in areas such as Rajprasong Intersection and beyond. Oraya cited the Intercontinental Hotel near Rajprasong as a successful example along with the riverfront Shangri La Hotel, whose Irish general manager has been particularly cooperative and understanding. Both hotels have done away with noisy traffic whistles, which Oraya argued is also conducive to a more pleasant environment for its guests as well and not just the community.
But the group has so far failed to make inroads in a bid to convince the BTS Skytrain operator to lower the volume of its television advertisements inside its carriages as well as on its platforms.
"There's been no progress over the past seven years."
Increasingly, said Oraya, noise pollution is being generated by schools. This ranges from noisy blaring of the national anthem and prayers through loud speakers. The group has so far tried but failed to convince premier schools such as Bangkok Christian College to reduce the noise level.
Oraya admits that there's a need to revise related environmental laws. Currently, an environmental regulation specifies that the average noise level for each 24 hours emanating from buildings should not exceed 80 decibels. She said the regulation doesn't provide adequate protection as it averaged out extreme noise pollution during some periods of the day with the hours where there's no noise activity at all.
Outside Bangkok, Oraya singled out open-door karaoke bars as a source of severe noise pollution in the provinces while in cities like Pattaya and Chiang Mai, the level of noise pollution is catching up with Bangkok.