Noisy event being advertised by restaurant despite court injunction

Dear Editor,

The residents of Anna Catherina, West Coast Demerara, have had a long battle over noise nuisance against the owners of a restaurant and bar (name given), situated on the public road. Big events such as Village Day and Duck-curry competitions are held on its premises where huge music systems are set up which blast music continuously from 2-3pm on the day of the event right on to the next morning.

Editor, the restaurant is located in a densely populated area surrounded by houses, churches, temples and a mosque. Our lives and daily activities are disrupted and our peace and quiet invaded when the owners have about 2 to 3 gigantic music systems – each consisting of 10 or more boom boxes – blasting music that can be heard in the next village. When these music sets are turned up to their highest volume, residents are at their mercy.

The walls and windows of our houses shake. We can’t hear our telephones when they ring. We can’t read or pray. We can’t view our TV or hear our radios. We can’t have a conversation with family in our own houses or hear someone knocking at our gate. We can’t rest. Nothing can be done but endure this torture for the many hours it goes on. Since the music lasts until the next morning, residents cannot sleep.

There are young, elderly and sick people around that cannot sleep in their own homes, whereas the owners of the restaurant get their peaceful, undisrupted rest the next morning. We, on the other hand were not afforded our rest but nevertheless have to go to work and our children have to concentrate on their schoolwork the next day. Is this right?

Over the years, the residents have had a challenging time getting this noise nuisance to stop. The police at the Leonora Police Station were not cooperating. That’s because some of them drink at the restaurant and are patrons of these events. Some of them are friends of the owners.

Ventually, the residents came together and took the matter to the court. This was two years ago and, thankfully, the law prevailed. Magistrate Fazil Azeez, ruled that no big event is to be held henceforth on the premises of the restaurant. Any such event must be held at a public ground or park.

Editor, this ruling is not being followed. The restaurant has a Village Day billed for September 3, 2011 on its premises, and huge banners have been put up around the place and adverts aired.

Our questions are:

1. How can the owners of the restaurant hold such an event on its premises when a court ruling prohibits them from doing this?

2. Was police permission granted for this event? If yes, how can the police grant permission when there is a court ruling against the holding of such events on the premises?

3. If the police claim that no permission has been granted, then why have the owners of the restaurant advertised the event? This is a big, public event so it needs police approval. The only way the owners can put up those banners and advertise the event is if the police indicated to them that permission would be granted subsequently. If not, we fail to see how the owners can advertise an unapproved event in full view of the police and the police have not asked the owners to pull down those banners.

Would the police actually disregard a court ruling? They are clamping down on residents playing their small stereos in a way that causes noise nuisance, so why aren’t they clamping down on this big noise nuisance?

Editor, it seems that some people are bent on tormenting residents and showing that they are above the laws of this country and the court. We would be grateful if the Minister Clement Rohee could address this matter since no cooperation is coming from the police.

Yours faithfully,
(Names and addresses of six
residents provided)

Editor’s note
We are sending a copy of this letter to Minister of Home Affairs, Mr Clement Rohee for any comment he might wish to make.

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