CEA says it has no le­gal man­date to check com­mu­nity noise

Sunday Times (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - By Ran­jith Pad­masiri

The Cen­tral En­vi­ron­men­tal Author­ity ( CEA) has nei­ther a mech­a­nism to mea­sure "com­mu­nity noise" nor a le­gal man­date to deal with of­fend­ers, the Author­ity in­formed the Colombo Chief Mag­is­trat e ’ s Court this week.

The ad­mis­sion came when a noise pol­lu­tion case filed against the Wa­ters Edge Ho­tel was t a ken up befo r e Ad­di­tional Mag­is­trate Kan­chana N. Silva.

The CEA told court that since it did not have the man­date to deal with noise pol­lu­tion, it would rec­om­mend that the par­ties to the case reach an am­i­ca­ble set­tle­ment.

The We­likada Po­lice filed ac­tion against Wa­ters Edge fol­low­ing com­plaints f rom Milinda Nir­mal Weeras­inghe and 15 other res­i­dents from K ala paluwa wain Ra­ja­giriya. They com­plained that the use of loud­speak­ers and fire­works dis­plays at out­door func­tions at the ho­tel were dis­turb­ing the peace in the night and caus­ing im­mense dis­tress to area res­i­dents.

Pres­i­dent's Coun­sel Shavin­dra Fer­nando who ap­peared for Wa­ters Edge told court that while there were reg­u­la­tions for mea­sur­ing in­dus­trial and ve­hi­cle noise, no such reg­u­la­tions ex­isted for mea­sur­ing com­mu­nity noise. He said the ho­tel was giv­ing an as­sur­ance that in fu­ture it would con­duct its func­tions with­out dis­turb­ing area res­i­dents. He said the ho­tel was ready to come to a set­tle­ment with the com­plainants since there were no provi- sions to con­tinue with the case.

Se­nior At­tor­ney- atLaw Nalinda In­datissa, who ap­peared for the res­i­dents, pointed out that a Supreme Court rul­ing had de­creed how to act in such an in­stance.

Mr. Fer­nando, how­ever, coun­tered that the Supreme Court de­ci­sion was only ap­pli­ca­ble to a par­tic­u­lar case and that it did not have a broader scope.

Taking the sub­mis­sions into con­sid­er­a­tion, Ad­di­tional Mag­is­trate Silva ruled that un­til the par­ties reached a set­tle­ment, the con­di­tional or­der is­sued to Wa­ters Edge should con­tinue and in ac­cor­dance with the or­der, that ho­tel has to stop loud noises em­a­nat­ing from out­door func­tions. The case will be taken up again on Jan­uary 7, 2019.

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