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Diamond Island blighted by noise

Ven Rathavong / Khmer Times Share:
Concert noise on Diamond Island is disturbing locals as residential construction continues to grow. Supplied

One year on from a court ruling, noise from outdoor events at Koh Pich’s concert arena is continuing to cause problems for residents and neighbouring businesses.

Phnom Penh Municipal Court issued an order to Koh Pich management to rearrange the stage in order to reduce noise disturbances in February last year, in compliance with an earlier decision made by the Ministry of Environment.

The ministry had in January 2017 ordered the director of Koh Pich to follow environmental laws after it found that noise levels from concerts exceeded permissible levels.

The noise and strobe lights used in live performances at the Diamond Island Exhibition and Convention Centre reportedly affected guests in several hotels around the area, especially NagaWorld.

Complaints were also received from residents at the Rose Garden apartments.

In his ruling last February, Phnom Penh Municipal Court judge Veng Hort ordered Koh Pich to rearrange the concert stage to face in a direction where no residents or hotel guests were staying.

The judge also ordered that the volume be turned down during live performances in order to comply with the law and said strobe lights should be directed upwards to avoid flashing into nearby residential units and hotels. The concert stages in front of the Koh Pich theatre face used to face west, thus having more effect on people and businesses in that direction.

City Hall spokesman Met Meas Pheakdey said he had no knowledge of the case but stressed that local authorities and City Hall would resolve the issue if complaints arose.

However, Mr Meas Pheakdey’s comments were dismissed by NagaWorld’s general manager Christopher Park, who said the hotel had complained more than once to City Hall about the noise and how it was a serious deterrent to the hospitality industry.

“The concert organisers at Koh Pich have no consideration of others when having these open-air concerts and shows because the noise and light disturbance is deafening and blinding. This is affecting our business considerably,” he said.

“The owners of the concert venues are also apparently oblivious and seemingly ignorant of the many complaints lodged by NagaWorld and others, and the disturbance they cause to others when running their business irresponsibly.”

“There is simply a complete disregard for law and order, as seen by them not following the instructions and guidelines issued by the competent authorities and this is having a major effect on tourism in this area and Cambodia in general,” he added.

A Koh Pich staff member, who asked not to be named, claimed the problem had been resolved.

“After a meeting, we rearranged the concert stage to face north – facing the river,” he said, adding the move resulted in considerably less noise to guests in the surrounding area.

He said his clients always wanted to have the concert stage facing west towards NagaWorld, but his company was mandated by law to direct the stage toward the river.

Recent complaints, he said, were about youths and people who brought speakers and played loud music during their gatherings.

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