By Annette Chrysostomou
Ayia Napa will roll out measures in a bid to tackle noise pollution in a move that aims to protect the thousands of people who visit the popular holiday resort each year.
“The idea is not to turn Ayia Napa into a church,” said Ayia Napa Mayor Yiannis Karousos on Thursday, “it is to find the best level so people can have fun while not disturbing others.”
He explained the need for action by giving an example. “At one bar, we measured 103 decibels, which is the equivalent of a jet flying over at 300 metres. And that was outside, 40 metres from the bar,” he said.
“The proposal to reduce noise pollution, which has the support of the associations of leisure centres, will have positive results. The first step has been made and now we are going ahead with implementation,” he added.
Following a council decision, the municipality carried out measurements, simulations and analyses and produced sound maps.
Ayia Napa has been divided into six zones, each of which will have a different maximum decibel level.
The centre of the resort will have the highest level. Although the exact maximum limit has not been decided, it will most certainly be over 80 decibel. In other parts of the city it is going to be around 80.
A letter was sent to each bar explaining what the terms for the renewal of their permit was and how speakers should be set up.
“Before a licence is issued any establishment that produces sound should submit a study detailing how they are going to follow the regulations. At the same time, a volume regulator will be installed,” the mayor said. “This metre will automatically control the noise level.”
Compliance checks will be carried out by the municipality and all necessary measures will be taken.
“Licenses will be revoked where people don’t comply,” Karousos said.
The proposal is based on a similar scheme implemented by the Municipality of Limassol, which has solved several problems with regard to noise, the mayor said.
“Tourism and the thousands of people who visit Ayia Napa each year have to be protected. There is a problem with noise and until proper legislation is passed by parliament, we have to find other solutions.”
Last year Karousos had called on the government to introduce clear decibel standards.
The existing law from 2007 states that it is illegal to cause noise pollution but does not specify the levels of noise allowed, making it difficult to implement.