Friday, June 03, 2005

Unintended Consequences

I awoke to bird song this morning. A simple fact that is taken for granted by most, but something that has been missing from my life for the last six months.

In what was a quiet residential neighbourhood, permits have been granted for the demolition of a number of relatively new buildings. Why? I can only assume that profit is the motive, since the old buildings did not need replacing, and the new ones will change the character of the neighbourhood.

Allowing demolition of buildings in an existing residential neighbourhood has had a devastating impact on those of us forced to endure 10 hours a day of pneumatic hammers breaking concrete.

Although I have sought help from the Building and Construction Authority, the Environment Ministry, and my MP, nothing has been done to mitigate the noise. Current legislation permits operations to continue 24 hours a day within noise limits that would be considered cruel and unusual punishment if inflicted on a prisoner.

Yet today there is silence and all work has been halted. Could one assume that the organizers of the international forum in the hotel near by found the noise objectionable? Like the sudden clean ups proceeding visits by ministers, it would appear that our best hope for peace and quiet lie with continued international conferences or a VIP taking up residence.

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