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Beijing residents shout loud over noise pollution
(China Daily) Updated:2005-03-03 14:19

  Dozens of suggestions from the public on how to control noise pollution arrived in the mail box of the Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau in just one day.

  It is just a beginning, the lifting of the curtain of the proposed establishment of a new version of local law on noise restriction, said officials with the bureau when they saw the mail yesterday.

  Zhou Xiaofan, division chief with the legal office of the bureau, said voices from all walks of life are being collected until the end of this month.

  "It indicates the noise control issue is part of the legal process," he said.

  Six-thousand letters of complaint about noise were lodged last year, 42.3 per cent of the total cases involving the environment, Zhou said.

  "People's discontent about increasing noise harassment tops other complaints about the environment they live in," Zhou said.

  Noise made by vehicles, construction sites, crowded stores and markets, bars, restaurants and entertainment venues have been rising over the past decade.

  However, the old version of the law on how best to deal with noise, introduced in 1984, has no specific rules about control and punishment.

  "The old version is no longer compatible with new kinds of noise pollution," Zhou said.

  It is hoped the revised version of the law will solve these problems.

  More than 1 million residents are thought to suffer from the noise of traffic every day.

  The local government years ago installed sound-insulated walls to protect residents.

  However, people living on or above the fifth floor are too "high" to be fenced in from the noise.

  More cash will be spent on curbing noise pollution, said Pei Chenghu, deputy director of the bureau recently.

  Some 300 million yuan (US$36 million) will be used to research how to reduce the noise from braking buses.

  Any sound over 70 decibels can make life unpleasant for humans.

  Traffic noise in Beijing has for years stood at 71 decibels, one of the most seriously noise-polluted cities in China.

  With noisy surroundings, people can get earache more easily and suffer from unsound sleep and bad memories. They can also have neural and cardiovascular diseases, said Li Hao, a doctor with the China-Japan Friendship Hospital.

  The revised law is expected to be completed by the end of this year, said Zhou.

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