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Monday, January 26, 2009

Noise pollution an ill factor for Thamel Tourism

Entertainment is an essential part of tourism and as the tourism industry is grasping an inclining prospect. It is also materializing its own buzz emphasizing the new trend and concept for the industry. Like such these days, when the trend of discos and pubs, live music restaurants, karaoke restaurants, dance bars and restaurants etc are getting in high demand. Perhaps, Thamel is occupied with various entertainment resources, making available the needs and wants by ability to pay. Although, opened for the feasibility of tourists but today they act as a means of nuisance for the accommodation spot (hotels and lodges) located in the periphery. Nevertheless, the problem is seen as an inevitable in most of the accommodations located near such spots where guests are avoiding staying due to high noise pollution.

John William, a British tourist staying in Thamel said, "It’s a tourist hub so a bit of excitement is the need but the way entertainment centers have been manipulating the sound as a marketing tool is not good. Perhaps, they should be equipped with sound absorbers to sooth the effect which seems lacking. One really gets mixed up with the cocktail of music ringing in ears coming from different direction. I have been in Thamel from past few days and it is really hard to sleep at night.”

However, the entertainment centers are not only expanding but they are also adapting more open approach where locals have been questioning on the intention and prospect of such centers.

Similarly, Shyam Shrestha, a local resident said, "The entertainment centers like dance restaurants and bars always invites crowd where generally you can see people having fights. Perhaps the sound does not disturb you that much in comparison to the scene created by intoxicated people and hooligans. We certainly have complained this to different authority but at the end of the day, no action is taken. Personally, I do not really know who is to blame for this, but somebody has to held responsibilities, in order to regulate and monitor such acts."

He suggested, "We need an effective mechanism which would not only regulate such acts but in return would monitor and in time would take action against them. The concern authorities need to focus on such issues as they directly affect the society."
On contrary Namgyal Lama, President of Thamel Tourism Development Board (TTDB) said, "Thamel is a happening place where people come to enjoy and this is a fact which needs to be understood. Currently there are more than 15 live music restaurants and 23 dance bar operating in the vicinity. We have tried to incorporate all the entertainment centers under a common understanding where every body would feel feasible to operate. Apart from that, we had recently formed a monitoring committee, to evaluate the scenario in Thamel. According to them, most of the tourists they like live music and enjoy it. Highlighting their recommendations, we have already regulated an effective planned schedule for controlling the noise pollution in Thamel for e.g. live restaurants are directed to play till 10:30 PM thrice in a week including Friday.
The main problem is, we had advised the entertainment centers to sound proof their place but the entrepreneurs voiced out that they have to pay a subsequent high amount of money as house rent, pointing it to the owners"

Adding more he said, "We have institution like tourist police to look after the issues but they are silent and most probably can two tourist police handle the whole Thamel is question which needs a proper answer."

When asked question regarding the role of TTDC, he asserted, "TTDC is highly operational but our main weakness is we lack fund and the organization like NTB who have fund, they are silent. If they cannot work then they should forward it to us with the resources and we would work on it. We lack a proper coordination mechanism, which is manipulated by the limited organization in creating the harsh aspect which needs to be understood and worked on."

Moreover, the issue of noise pollution is a condition, which is rising due to the lack of proper monitoring. Though voices are raised out regarding the issues but a relative answer lies hidden with in authorities till the time they take proper action.


By Shreedeep Rayamajhi

1 comments:

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