Residents of Silver Spring, a condominium off Eastern Metropolitan (EM) Bypass in east Kolkata, have hung a six floors-long banner alleging that loud noise from JW Marriott, the five-star hotel next door, is disturbing them.
“Marriott Your Loud Noise Disturbs Silver Spring,” the banner screams. Not just Marriott but tens of thousands of commuters travelling along the EM Bypass will find it difficult to miss.
Residents alleged that there was loud noise from the open-air venues of the hotel where weddings and parties are held. The problem becomes more acute in winter because this is the time for many weddings and parties.
When the noise of beating drums or music emerges from all these venues simultaneously, they assume a volume that “becomes unbearable”, more than one resident said. It doesn't allow one to sleep and makes it impossible for children to study.
Prakash Kedia, secretary of Silver Spring Apartment Owners Association, said the noise from the parties and weddings at the hotel drowned out the sound of televisions in living rooms.
“We put up the banner about seven days ago, fed up with the noise from the hotel,” Kedia said. “It is like we are in a party because of the noise we hear, without being invited.”
The banner, the residents hope, will draw the attention of more people so that opinion builds up and forces Marriott to keep the noise within limits.
Sumeet Suri, general manager of JW Marriott, told The Telegraph that the hotel “complies with all rules that are in place”.
“We stop all kinds of noise by 10pm. The residents never approached us about the problem. I do not know why they have put up the banner,” he said.
This is not the first time that residents of Silver Spring have put up such a banner on their premises.
A resident said they had written to the authorities of the hotel and spoken to them, but nothing was done.
“We have also written to the state pollution control board. But nothing has changed,” the resident said.
“Every time the noise becomes too much to bear, we have to call them up. Sometimes they reduce the volume, sometimes they do not,” said another resident.
An official of the West Bengal Pollution Control Board said that JW Marriott cannot breach the 65-decibel sound limit for commercial areas.
“The place will be considered as a commercial area since there are many hotels around,” said the official.
The permissible limit of noise in commercial areas is 65 decibels between 6am and 10pm and 55 decibels between 10pm and 6am.
Winter is the season when the threat of noise levels breaching the limit in many places is far more than at other times of the year.
On Monday, Sabuj Mancha, a platform of organisations and individuals working on environmental issues, wrote to Kolkata’s police commissioner with an appeal to control sound pollution.
The letter said that there was a threat of abrupt increase in noise and air pollution in the coming days.
Silver Spring residents have taken the fight for their right to peace to Marriott but many Kolkatans bear noise pollution silently.
Open-air party pads have sprung up in many places and local gyms that blare music through the day an equal nuisance.