|by LEO OLIVERO
Even the sound of music can be unpleasant when it irritates the ear. A disharmony of sounds surrounds us day and night, be they from vehicular or air traffic, noise nuisances emanating from entertainment venues, construction sites, fireworks, consumer product noise or that transmitted between dwellings. In a small place like Gibraltar, such noise pollution becomes a health hazard falling on deaf ears.
Noise pollution, particularly during unscheduled load-shedding and unrelenting power outages has been a nightmare for residents of the Harbour Views and Sir William Jackson Grove area. For the past few months in particular, they have had to put up with the deafening sounds from the Generating station at Waterport, not only that, the problem has been considerably exacerbated by the six very powerful 'temporary' generators installed by the Government to help with the demand in the electricity supply.
It is the residents of the area, myself included, who are now seriously suffering the consequences of what is considered to be a badly thought out plan, one that many feel was rushed by Government to fix a problem, that people say they created in allowing Gibraltarís electricity supply to reach the state it is today.
Although discovering the source of the main problem has not been a rocket science project, the noise pollution has come by way of the six temporary generators; this is the real root of the problem! A problem which is also costing the tax payer well over £30,000 per week, this by having placed 6 massive generators out in the open with no sound or noise protection compounded by them operating incessantly on a 24-hour basis. Although not forgetting another environmental and health aspect, the dangerous toxic fumes that emanate from these machines which go directly into the immediate atmosphere and generally into our homes and lungs!
Many residents in the area have had to resort to having windows permanently closed for most part of the day but certainly battened down or secured during the night where the noise is amplified even more allowing for no peace and quiet day or night.
Residents have also pointed out that the Gibraltar Electricity Authority (GEA) clearly informed the public that the generators were only to be used 'as and when required', this has not been the case as the generators are in operation 24 hours a day. There has been total disregard and absolutely no consideration for the residents of the area and how this situation has affected quality of life in this area of Gibraltar.
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