This letter is meant to highlight the plight of the residents of Central Park in Couva who, on a regular basis, are being held hostage in their homes and bombarded with excessive noise from the Ato Boldon Stadium. The noise has nothing to do with legitimate sporting activity but rather from fetes, car shows and various activities which are being hosted in the stadium car park with increasing frequency.

The housing development is adjacent to and downwind of the compound of both the stadium and the National Cricket Centre. These facilities were built long after the housing development which has been in existence for over 30 years. It is grossly unfair that these relatively recent facilities should be the source of untold distress to residents who purchased land and built their homes (without any government’s help) in a quiet neighbourhood hoping to escape the hustle and bustle of our increasingly stressful society.

The events start at low noise levels but increase with time and sometimes go on for more than six hours—late into the night and into the early hours of the morning. Residents are totally stressed out by continuous, excessive noise over long periods, depriving them of their peace and quiet and enjoyment of their property.

The Environmental Management Authority (EMA) has shown empathy and tries to mediate a win-win situation, but it appears that they are obligated to grant a variation to the ambient noise levels.

The stadium management has indicated the need to raise revenue and therefore is constrained to allow these events. The police intervene from time to time but the noise levels increase once the officers leave.

We are calling on the Minister of Sport to look into this very distressing state of affairs. We shudder to think that the cycling velodrome and the aquatic centre, both of which are being constructed near to the stadium and could be opened soon, might adopt a similar policy.

It is time for the authorities to step in and protect the legitimate rights of law-abiding, taxpaying citizens who, instead of looking for handouts, engage in lawful employment and just want some rest, relaxation and rejuvenation after battling the stresses of the workday or work-week.

E Rampaul