Street vendors using megaphones

The complaints against noise pollution by the residents of Hayatabad, University Town and Peshawar City as well as Peshawar Cantonment are justified. They allege that right from early morning up to midnight, the street vendors use loudspeakers and megaphones to sell ice-cream, fruit, vegetables and other items of daily use. With overloaded motorbikes, they hawk their cheap merchandise like plastic utensils, bathroom slippers and rugs at every street corner.

The result is that students cannot concentrate on their studies. Similarly, the sick and the bed-ridden elderly persons feel extremely disturbed by the constant noise at their doorstep. Some housewives, allergic to shrill voices, have developed psychological complications. There was a time when megaphones were used by prominent politicians for addressing roadside rallies. These days, self-styled mechanics on motorbikes play recorded audio clips. In this way, they clearly commit violation of the Loudspeaker Act.

Some people have initiated cases in police stations, while others are consulting lawyers to take the cases to courts of law. Armed police riders on mobile duty roam each and every street in their area. But they tend to look the other way. It is up to the SHOs and DSPs to sensitise the police riders about battling the increasing noise pollution. Every home in KP has firearms. If some hyper-sensitive house owner comes out with a gun, the situation can take an ugly turn. We hope that higher authorities will take the matter seriously and ensure a peaceful, noise-free environment to the general public.