Friday, October 29, 2010

Right to Sleep

UB Post

October 29, 2010

This is one of many things that were lost for residents of Ulaanbaatar City. Conspired government officials have stolen from us not only our lands of kindergarten, playground and other properties of public ownership, pure air and sidewalks but also our right to sleep.

We all no longer talk about how the city is noisy in day times and almost got used to it.

Noises of construction and repair works in every street and every building, of car signals and of hammers smashing down the concrete walls has been increasing day by day, raising the question about how many people cannot sleep because of such noises. Construction of a building almost inches close to your building will continue all night long. Thousands of residents who went to beds after long working day, particularly elders and infants cannot sleep well till the morning. Many of them just call to police because there is nothing they can do. The police line 102 will answer we cannot do anything if there is no direct threat to human safety, please call to 310005. The person on duty, who is on this number, would say: “What can I do on my own, but I will forward to management”. Such scene repeats every night and the days are going by. Unfortunately, there is no mechanism to stop activities responsible for all noises in Ulaanbaatar City, which don’t allow residents sleep well. Don’t hope that the group of people called ‘city parliamentarians’ would care if you sleep or not. They are too busy with their “job” to get an estate or catch up a profitable business while in office. In civilized and democratic countries, there is a special law or regulations regulating the noise in the city.

Noise is classified into the classification of pollution like air and some special requirements are put against it. In most of megacities of the world, car horn is prohibited at night and the trespasser is subject to penalty. It is also restricted to use loud speaker at railway station. Any construction work between 06.00pm and 07.00am hours is totally forbidden. Any and all men who infringes it, is levied high fines so that it never repeats again. The United States Law of Noise Pollution says that any infringement of standard herein is fined US$25,000 per day or is imprisoned up to one year. In civilized countries, early it is legalized to fine for example if loudspeaker’s volume is high audible to neighboring house or street, or audible beyond hundreds of steps.

But today noise standards are expressed in decibel (dB). For instance, human whisper generates 20 dB, normal dialogue between two people in 1 or 2 meters - 60dB, sound of truck - 90dB, gas hammer – 100dB, rock music - 110, take-off by B747 aircraft – 120dB respectively. If it is higher than 130 dB, the ear will pain, further drumhead will be damaged seriously. A WHO research indicated that 3.0% of people dying because of heart diseases due to noise-related stress. A man feels uncomfortable in the sound higher than 45 dB and cannot sleep in the noise higher than 40dB.

Kid’s learning capacity is completely lost in noises above 55 dB, and they even get into stress. Metropolitan residents must take care of such impact of noise and demand city authorities and central government take efficient actions. They are obliged to serve the people. Instead of serving the people, they indirectly support seizure of all of citizens’ rights and properties and are even involved in. Look at these numerous buildings built and being built between two buildings in Ulaanbaatar City.

They build buildings blocking windows of families and sidewalks. Residents first will react with strong protest. They go to all competent organizations, including the government, courts, khoroos and apartment owners associations, and make sensations, in the hope that they will serve for the people’s sake. All organizations will pledge to take necessary actions. Very soon, all parties will get silent because all got what they wanted – the money. Since the money is paid to make residents silent, the owner of building will do whatever he or she wants, but the residents, who sold their comfort for small money, will stay awake whole night saying no complaints no matter how the noise is.

Exactly like this way, your right to sleep is sold and conspired at the end. City authorities, government officials and building owners cannot choke back laughter looking at that residents cannot get asleep at all. Because, they all live comfortably in big houses in mountainsides which they acquired by means of conspiracy by lying the people that mountainsides are part of national park, far from big city’s noise and polluted air. My metropolitans, have a good sleep … if you can!

Translated by P.Shinebayar

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