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Municipalities refuse to tackle unbearable noise pollution

letters 1 grammata

The whole of Cyprus suffers from noise pollution from entertainment venues. To eradicate this the House of Representatives passed a revised law on the control of noise from entertainment venues with the responsible authority to enforce the law being the municipalities within the municipal areas and the district commissioners for rural areas.

Problem solved everyone thought. Both residents and tourists will no longer have to suffer long sleepless nights because some bar or restaurant wants to advertise itself as a disco without a licence.

Within the municipalities, the mayors then brought forward unsurmountable problems:

  • “The law is not clear and needs to be revised.” The law was revised, but then a further problem was born

  • “There are no defined noise limits and these must be set by the environmental agency.”  The limits having been set, the mayors frantically sought new obstacles. The answer was:

  • “We do not have any equipment to measure the noise levels so therefore we still cannot enforce the law.” This problem was solved with the acquisition of decibel meters.

  • Tragically this only brought a further insurmountable problem: “Our staff are not trained to use the equipment.” The interior ministry solved this one by organising training courses for the municipal staff on how to use the equipment.

  • After a great deal of head scratching the municipal Houdini came up with a coup de grâce. “The municipal employees are afraid of going out at night without a police escort”. The police responded that this should not be a police matter as the police have far more important things to do such as stopping mobiles and drugs getting into the central prison.

We are now at the stage that the municipal employees will not go out without a police escort and the police refuse to do so.

On Friday, November 17 on CyBC Fanos Leventis, secretary of the Pancyprian Association of Entertainment Venues, stated that the problem of noise pollution from entertainment venues remains because the municipalities do not issue the required licences for music. The result being that the venues play their music as loud as they like.

The mayors and municipal councillors have failed and are still failing to enforce this law and yet they want to be re-elected with greater powers so that they can avoid other regulations and laws should it be to their or their friends’ advantage.

Nicholas Ross-Clunis, chartered safety & health practitioner

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