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Easter and the EMA (Read 1816 times)
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Easter and the EMA
Apr 12th, 2004 at 6:42pm
 

Permit me to highlight how a tax-paying citizen of this country may be forced into taking the law into one's own hands, due to the manifest failure of our institutions simply to carry out their statutory functions.

On Good Friday, I was informed that my neighbour planned to throw another fete in his backyard on Sunday. I have reported this neighbour's propensity to violate the noise laws, countless times to the EMA. Having information at hand, I phoned the EMA and the Environmental Police Unit continuously throughout the weekend, no reply, no voice mail service- thus I was unable to report the pending breach of noise laws.

Prior to Good Friday I was informed by an officer at the EMA that I was not allowed to contact the Environmental Police directly, and that I should wait for them to contact me. I am still waiting. In fact, last night, I was forced to leave my house and check into a hotel with my family, runnning from the noise of four massive loud speakers which affects the health of members of my household.

So as a taxpayer, I could not depend on the officers of the EMA to do their job. Instead I had to delve into my bank account and pay a hotel to accomodate my family, since we could not rest in our own homes, on Easter Sunday.

I would suggest that there are many Trinidadians in need of employment, who perhaps would function more efficiently than those who presently comprise the staff with responsibility for noise pollution breaches. Surely it didnt take a rocket scientist to deduce that a long weekend is ripe for loud parties and fetes in residential areas, and therefore some resources should have been allocated for that purpose. The EMA has no authority to refer complaints to the district police, because EMA officers are collecting a salary to perform specific functions related to noise laws. If they are unable to so do, then it is time for a policy change.

But I am STILL waiting for those EMA officers to investigate, most likely they will come when the violator is not at home or when he isn't playing loud music. And then they will close my file again, saying that there was no noise to measure.  I am waiting to see how these officers treat with upcoming public holidays, and my specific written complaint. I am waiting to see if I should set aside hotel fees for Mother's Day, Father's Day, Emancipation, Independence, Indian Arrival Day. I am waiting to see my tax dollar working for me but in the meantime, I am keeping copious records of every occurrence. I do hope that I will not have to wait in vain.

Should any member of the public have similar concerns or issues, please feel free to contact me at this email address.

A.Sankar
cafe@tstt.net.tt
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