Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Noise pollution in Public BUSES – Public Nuisance

I made an emergency day trip as some urgent work cropped up in Office in Colombo, while I had taken a few days off to work at my own and more productive  pace at my forest retreat in Ratmale. So I took the 5.15am bus (SLTB) from Kaduruwela to Colombo, which arrived in Colombo at 11.30 am! The Fare was only Rs249 so the Conductor famous for no change keeps the change out of Rs250.

The problem was that I unfortunately found the seat right under the speaker of this new State Bus, and the music was put on so loud, that 6 hours later when I had alighted, I was almost deaf!!!  There is NO other word to explain, but torture of the worst kind that I had to endure throughout the journey.

I know the people of Sri Lanka like to enjoy music at all times even sleeping time! However this decibel range, should be punishable, but more importantly today’s youth the driver must have been twenty something, realize that there are other people who are not in the same mold. I think consideration of others is severely lacking in youth today, as they are NOT parented and no one shows them the way of right and wrong and consideration of to others who may not be in the same frame of mind as them.

It is due to this social ill, that we may need rules to ensure that the peace of the average person is not severely disrupted by ignorance, and callousness at the extreme.

Personally, I don’t know for whose benefit this music is? Is it for the Driver and Conductor who are used, want, and immune? Or for the passenger who is harassed, and cannot even speak on a mobile phone for this shriek at the back. My ears were ringing when I got off the bus.

Another point to note that those who make the rules DON’T travel by bus. The secretaries in the Transport or the Ministers, who are blissfully unaware of this interference to people’s basic rights. Further the commuters themselves don’t realize they can make a stand. They are not strong enough, and their organization does not take this into consideration, when making other demands, or don’t believe this is sufficiently important.

The result is that thousands, no hundreds of thousands of us travelers daily are inconvenienced by this roar during the journey and seem to accept as inevitable and one they cannot do anything about. I would see if we can have NO sound designated buses, then if there will be a clamor, or no drivers to drive, as they need this as part of the opium for them to drive!!!

I returned on the same evening on the 7.15 train that dropped me off Gal Oya junction at 1am making it an exhausting journey, but well worth the experience to comment on how to improve both bust travel and train travel in Sri Lanka. The treatment of public with respect in public transport provided at a far higher level is important, as they are paying customers, and they should get their money’s worth! The train trip was Rs480 with a seat booked in third class sleeperette, and there it was lit right throughout the night, there were fans, and reclining seats, and in a sense a much more pleasant journey, as the express just stops at Gampaha, Polgahawela, Kurunegala, Maho Junction, Kala Wewa, Kekirawa! Still even that takes an age, and I would have preferred a sleeper in 1st class to rest my tired body, but this was the only seat available on reserved train!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you have hit on something which is correct and that is the extreme selfishness of many Sri Lankans. for some reason, there is a gross lack of regard for others and this applies to all realms of life and love. How has this developed? Is it perhaps for generations Lankans have seen those selfish people reach the topmost heights of society and "the monkeys do what they see?"What can be done?