The authorities should be safeguarding citizens’ right to quietness in their homes

Once again I’m asking myself if anyone out there is actually listening to what the people are saying.

On March 14, your Letters to the Editor carried a complaint from Roshan Khan about noisy and vulgar concerts being held at Starlite Drive-in, disturbing residents well into the night. On March 18, a reader from Campbell-ville wrote (once again), complaining about the noise nuisance created by a fish shop on Drury Lane. On March 20, George Abrams of Queenstown wrote about a car-wash operating with an extremely noisy engine in his neighbourhood. At other times readers have drawn your attention to noisy activities at the Providence Stadium, at the GCC ground, at the Sophia Exhibition Site. One hears occasionally, too, from locations further afield − in country areas that one would have expected to be safe from the unchecked disregard for the welfare of others.

Just the tiniest ray of hope has come to sleep-deprived victims of this epidemic in the form of action being taken by the police against loud, vulgar music in minibuses, and we hold our communal breath, praying for them not to give up the struggle.

While I sympathize deeply with Mr Khan, I must disagree with him on one point though: he says, after describing the hell that he and his neighbours went through during the concert at Starlite, that he feels three or four times a year for such events would be reasonable. No, Mr Khan, it would not. The by-laws are quite clear: you, and the rest of us, are entitled to quietness in our homes so that we can listen to our own music, chat with our friends, sleep if we choose. If people wish to listen to loud music, they can use ear-phones and damage their own hearing but not our children’s. If they wish to listen to undiluted vulgarity, let them do so in such a way that our young people are not polluted too. If, as appears to be the case, our government is content for people to congregate and enjoy the noise and vulgarity, then let a sound-proof concert hall be constructed for that purpose. But let it never be forgotten that quietness in our homes is one of our rights as citizens − a right that the authorities should be safeguarding.

It is a national disgrace that our government is not addressing the twin problems of vulgar lyrics being played in public places and noisy activities that disturb hard-working citizens when they should be resting. And although I doubt whether anyone is listening, I wish to join my voice to those others raised in protest against this unacceptable invasion of our peace.

Yours faithfully,
Joyce Jonas

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