Loud music from ahatas leave residents sleepless
Residents of societies located close to liquor vends and ahatas in sectors 56, 57, 61, 62, South City 1 and 2, Golf Course Extension Road and Palam Vihar have complained of loud music being played at these establishments during late hours and accused the police of inaction. Ahatas, authorised open spaces for liquor consumption near vends, were allowed to open last month after being shut last year due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Digvijay Jain, a resident of Pioneer Araya in Sector 62, said that numerous calls to police control room number —100 — gives temporary relief, but the problem resumes after a day. “We have been writing to the authorities to look into the issue but no one is paying heed to our serious problem. Children need to study as exams are ongoing and people have late-night work shifts. We are finding it difficult to handle the situation and have been suffering for the past two months,” he said.
The police assured of strict action against those violating norms and disturbing residents.
KK Rao, the commissioner of police, said, “We will write to the excise department to take action against these offenders and will book anyone found operating these establishments beyond midnight,” he said.
The ahatas, 72 in number, are allowed to operate till midnight and are allowed to play music at45 decibels till 10pm during the night, as per the high court ruling in 2019. Even if pubs and restaurants have special licence to serve liquor till 3am, they cannot violate the sound level norms, said police.
Suneel Rao, owner of an ahata, said that their customers insist on music, failing which people stop patronising their establishments. “People come to enjoy and dance. We have suffered huge losses due to Covid-19 and we are trying to revive (our business), but if issues like this start emerging, we will have to shut down. People will stop visiting if there is no music,” he said.
Police commissioner Rao said that a team has been formed to keep a check on ahatas in Sushant Lok-1, South City 1 and 2, sector 56, 57, Golf Course Road, Golf Course Extension Road, sectors 40, 31 and Palam Vihar. He said a weekly review will be done to analyse the violations by these establishments.
Residents of Pioneer Park, Pioneer Presidia and Pioneer Araya on Golf Course Extension Road said they are the worst affected, as the ahatas in their vicinity have installed outdoor sound amplifiers and blare out loud music during the night, in violation of the high court order passed in 2019 for not using loudspeakers and loud music.
Bhawna Chauhan, vice-president of the Pioneer Park residents’ welfare association in Sector 61, said, “We have tried reaching out to the ahata owners and they promised to reduce the volume, but it was temporary. We have approached the police and have suggested a measure to the police. If the owner can cover the open area located in the rear portion, which is adjacent to the societies, the issue can be resolved,” she said.
Residents have also taken to social media platforms to create pressure on authorities.
Vishal Gupta, a resident of South City-1 that is located near Sector 29, a hub for pubs and bars, said that residents have been facing this problem for the last four years and that the police have failed to resolve the issue. “The hotels play loud music on their rooftop restaurants and two ahatas have no time restrictions. They are operational till 3am, causing sleepless nights for residents,” he said, adding that calls to the police control room only resolved the issue temporarily.
Shruti Gilhotra, an office bearer of the Pioneer Araya RWA, said that residents of the society have been facing the issue for the last few months. “This noise pollution commences around 7.30pm and goes on till past midnight on most days of the week, causing severe disturbance to residents. Ever since we shifted to this society, our kids have been suffering due to this late-night loud music. This severely impacts their health and disturbed sleep makes them unable to focus on studies. This issue is causing us a lot of stress, both physical and mental,” she said.