By Andria Kades
Legislation passed by parliament on noise pollution has gaps which allow club owners to blast music as loud as they want without anyone being able to do anything about it, Ayia Napa mayor Yiannis Karousos said this week.
The bill which came to force on January 1 this year seeks to have cities divided into different zones with each one having set rules on how loud music can be and until what time, according to the mayor.
However, speaking to the Sunday Mail, Karousos said the study, which was supposed to be undertaken by the agriculture ministry is still not complete.
“They’re still doing it and now, it means we don’t have set criteria. Police can’t fine or stop anyone for playing music too loudly because there’s a gap in the law.”
The agriculture ministry was not immediately available to comment.
In a letter sent to top officials including the attorney general, ministers of interior, justice, agriculture, commerce and the Cyprus Tourism Organisation, Karousos has asked that implementing the bill is postponed until next year.
“Can you imagine, I’m the mayor, and I had to call the place next to my home because they were playing music so loudly my children couldn’t sleep. The building was shaking.”
Had it been last year, prior to the implementation of the new legislation, police could have made them stop.
Additionally, legislation also allows clubs or bars to have speakers outside.
“Now everyone has them outside and there’s no way to control it. Do you know there’s hotels that rent out the place next to theirs just to ensure there won’t be loud music blasting there.”
The legislation affects municipalities across the country and according to Karousos ensures that any premises which play music will be linked with municipality equipment that can monitor the decibels of the music and thus automatically track anyone that was violating the law.
“It’s good legislation. We’re not against it. We’re in favour of it. But it needs to be done properly.”
Asked if they had called for tender for the equipment, Karousos said they could not as they were still waiting for the study to be completed.
“Parliament will be closing for summer soon. If they don’t postpone the law then they’ll be responsible for the problems and the consequences this legislation will have and the tourists that will be complaining about it,” he said.
“Every day we get complaints, the police get complaints, from members of the public and hotels but no one can do anything about it.”
According to Karousos, a meeting held two months ago at the ministry of interior with representatives from the ministry of justice, agriculture, the police, municipalities and the attorney general, the consensus had been that the implementing the legislation should be postponed.