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Cyprus

Ministers vow to put an end to noise pollution

By Maria Gregoriou

THE INTERIOR, justice and agriculture ministries hope to have a bill ready for parliament to amend the noise pollution law by the end of the year.
During a meeting yesterday at the interior ministry to the problem of noise pollution from entertainment establishments, suggestions were made as to how and by what means it could be measured.
Interior Minister Socrates Hasikos, Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou, Agriculture Minister Nicos Kouyialis and other officials were present.
By the end of October the interior ministry will have completed consultations with all concerned, Hasikos said.
“We have asked officials to bring forward proposals and recommendations about how to tackle this problem,” he said.
Discussions focused on the manner and means of measuring noise, defining areas where it is acceptable and unacceptable, monitoring and penalties.
Pancyprian restaurants and entertainment establishments’ owners association’s general secretary Phanos Leventis, who was present at the meeting said: “The government not managed to come up with a ‘noise map’ so far but now with the suggestions the ministry will collect, it can be created.”
Leventis explained said the problem was not being caused by clubs and discos because these were indoors where noise is contained. It had to do with bars and other outside entertainment establishments, he said.
“Indoor clubs have licences to run as such and so the noise created within the clubs should not penetrate outside,” he added.
He said a noise map was a graphical representation of the sound level distribution existing in a given region for a defined period.
Machines are used to calculate the level of noise from a certain area, normally within 24 hours.
“These numbers are then used to measure the allowed amount of noise for an area. It is normally a little bit higher than the noise level already existing in the region,” Leventis said.
After the meeting Nicolaou also commented by saying that amendments to the law would control noise and resolve the problems it causes to those who live near recreational centres “which continuously pollute the environment with sound.”
“By defining the level of noise allowed by each area and by checks being made by police and local authorities, we will be able to have an effective control over the situation,” Nicolaou added.
This will either be by imposing fines or, in some cases, by prosecuting law breakers he said.
Nicolaou concluded that the government’s intention was not to harass recreational centres, nor was it to further bother residents of these areas.
“The situation must be brought under control so we can all have the required quality of life,” he said.
Kouyialis said the most important thing to come out of the meeting was the fact that a timeline had been set.
“I hope that by the end of the year we will be ready to make the necessary adjustments to the law,” he said.

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