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QUESTION I would like to let you know as briefly as I can about an incident of “extreme public disturbance” near Chalong Circle recently. Talad Kaow Ta, a newly opened “market” organised by Arrow Media with many shop booths/space for rent opened directly opposite Chalong Police Station on Sept 1. They have been playing live and recorded music over the past weeks, very loud, late into the night. Our neighbourbood community complained to Arrow Media and the landowner as well as the police. The landowner agreed to have the music played at a lower volume, intersecting with football games shown on the big screen. However, the landowner asked to be allowed to have two events each month, but said that they would stop the loud noise at 10:30pm. On Sept 23, they started playing very loud music at around 4:45pm. It was shockingly loud that exceeded any past New Year events (fireworks, etc.) in Chalong Bay area. My windows, walls, and floor were vibrating, buzzing and hissing with the loud music base droning. 8. My Thai neighbour telephoned the landowner and the police to complain about this noise disturbance. The police and landowner eventually came to our soi to inspect our suffering. The landowner insisted that the sound level had been turned down, although that was absolutely not the case. The police did not make any comments. Although a touch lowered, this excruciating volume and base droning disturbance did not stop by 10:30pm as promised. I called the police at 11pm, but nothing was done. They continued to play their music. At 11:30pm, the noise attack was still on-going. I was too tired to keep track after midnight, but sometime after midnight I did notice that they had turned out their gross bright lights. Music was still playing, at a lower level – but it was beyond midnight. Before I was totally out (to sleep), I could still hear music playing at Talad Kaow Ta at 1am. I chose not to telephone the police again due to the lack of results in previous attempts. I know of someone who is staying somewhere near Club O2, a venue much further away from our disturbed neighbourhood, further away from Kan Eang @Pier restaurant. He was also very alarmed and disturbed by this atrocious sound attack. I have not checked with other people who live nearby, example, the likes of Julapan/Jula Place (hotel), the HomePro area, etc. I have recorded nine minutes of the noise disturbance on my cell phone, hoping that the device could capturing the torturing sensations that I was experiencing. What else could be done about this? – AL, Chalong   ANSWER Chalong Police received the complaint on Sept 23 and it is recorded that police officers arrived at the scene. But sometimes police cannot do anything regarding this issue because we don’t have sound-measuring devices to have the evidence to prove the noise created it is over the legal limit. Police are able to grant “permission to use sound”. This particular market had obtained permission from police, but if noise is seriously disturbing people, we will assist to regulate it. As this situation triggered complaints and was disturbing neighbors, the complaint was passed to the Chalong municipal health authorities. – Cpl Thanoo Glaiput, Chalong Police   We do have a record of the complaint filed regarding this incident. A health official of Chalong Municipality went to the Kaow Ta market to speak to the manager and the manager agreed that the volume of noise would be reduced after 10pm during future events. If it occurs again, you may directly call the Chalong Municipality at 076-383775 and we will come to help settle a long-term compromise. In general, if you are experiencing noise disturbances near or around your residence, you can call your local municipality and a health division official will come to help and will bring equipment to measure the loudness of the source. The legal sound limit in Thailand by law is 90 decibels over an eight-hour Time Weighted Average (TWA). If the noise is over this limit, the health officer will have authority to request that the respondent lowers the sound volume. Sometimes the noise is within the legal limit but still causes a disturbance and irritation to those around. In cases like this, the official will help to settle a compromise between the complainant and the respondent that the respondent must adhere to so that the noise causes the least disturbance possible to surrounding residents. – Suthep Gaewgaet, Senior General Service Officer,Health Division, Chalong Municipality
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