Senior citizens of Vagator march with lit candles towards Anjuna Police station to complain about loud music being played at Echo club after 10 pm.
Senior citizens of Vagator march with lit candles towards Anjuna Police station to complain about loud music being played at Echo club after 10 pm. Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

Noise pollution drowns out protest by senior citizens in Goa

Goa’s seniors, tired of deafening music, go with candles in hand to Anjuna Police Station pleading for noise be stopped, but get no respite

With deafening music playing in Vagator after 10pm, women and men over 70 and a few middle-aged, with candles in hand, walked to the Anjuna police station around 10.30 pm demanding that the music be stopped.

In a written submission handed over to the police manning the station, residents of Vagator ,who signed the complaint, demanded that the music going on in the new restaurant called Echo be stopped forthwith.

Senior citizens of Vagator march with lit candles towards Anjuna Police station to complain about loud music being played at Echo club after 10 pm.
7 Reasons to visit this lovely village in South Goa

“This is just unbearable. They started with their blasting music in the afternoon, kept quiet for a while after we phoned 112 to complain and started again and you can hear the noise outside the Anjuna police station now,” gesticulated an exasperated Maria Santana who at 71 is convinced, she has had enough.

“I have sent sub-inspector Sahil Warang to inspect the site and we will need him to return before we file the First Information Report (FIR) and you all could wait, if you want to,” Uday Korgaonkar, the cop in charge at night told the protesters.

Anjuna Police station desk in charge accepts complaint but expresses inability to lodge FIR.
Anjuna Police station desk in charge accepts complaint but expresses inability to lodge FIR. Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

“I can hear the music but before I receive the report, there is nothing that can be done. I am not even authorized to file an FIR. If you all want, you can stay the whole night,” explained Korgaonkar.

Loud music in Vagator which was heard playing beyond 2 am emanated from four clubs – Echo, Hill Top, Banana Forest and Raeeth– in complete disregard to the judgment of the Supreme Court.

Citizens from Vagator protesting outside Echo at midnight.
Citizens from Vagator protesting outside Echo at midnight. Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

With no sign of music stopping past midnight, the protesters decided to move to Echo club to confront Warang but on reaching the spot, they were informed that he had left for dinner thus forcing them all to return to the police station.

“Clause 7c of the Action Plan,” reads section 36 of the recent judgment of the High Court of Bombay at Goa in WP no 15 of 2023, “provides that in case of event/function/programmes involving more than fifty participants, the application must be forwarded by the authority to the GSPCB, and the applicant must make a deposit  of Rs 3,000/- per event/programme/functions with GSPCB.

Music could be heard at Anjuna Police station at 2 am on December 18,2023.
Music could be heard at Anjuna Police station at 2 am on December 18,2023. Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

The GSPCB is then expected to prepare a report in format and forward the same to the Department of Environment. That department will then, after assessment, issue a recommendation to the authority, that is, to the collector /Deputy Collector.”

That the organisers got no permission was evident from the fact that loud music was blatantly played way past 2 am and not even North Goa SP Nidhin Walsan, who was contacted by the media over the phone at 22.57 pm and thereafter through WhatsApp, could do little to stop the noise.

Incidentally point 16 of the High Court judgment reads: “This Court noted that if the authorities or executive failed to prevent the breaches of the Noise Pollution Rules and the reported orders issued by the Court directing the implementation of such Rules, then the authorities would be making a mockery of the rule of law, which is one of the basic structures of our Constitution,” and the Goa Police appeared to be doing just that.

Senior citizens of Vagator march with lit candles towards Anjuna Police station to complain about loud music being played at Echo club after 10 pm.
Goa is rooted in the agriculture of Gaondongrem village

With no sight of  Warang till past midnight, the villagers submitted another complaint in the early hours of December 18, 2023, to the police officer stating that since, “Warang had not returned to the police station to register the FIR against Echo club for playing loud music the FIR be registered,” and handed over to the complainants.

Alleged manager of Echo club pleading with protesters to allow music to be played.
Alleged manager of Echo club pleading with protesters to allow music to be played. Photo: Augusto Rodrigues

“What is going on is a mockery of the High Court. It’s just been a few days that a judgment has been passed and the cops seem not bothered at all. This is a shame,” stated Antonio who despite being over 70 years old stayed back till around 1.30am.

Senior citizens of Vagator march with lit candles towards Anjuna Police station to complain about loud music being played at Echo club after 10 pm.
Sound ban post-10 pm is music to the ears in North Goa coastal belt

That the SP of North Goa could do nothing; that the PI of Anjuna police station could do nothing; that Sahil Warang who was sent to confirm the noise pollution, did not return to the police station till the protesters left; and that loud music played on till dawn is a testimony of what is happening on the coastal belt.

As the protesters returned home, Mila D’Souza who is 72, left a sordid truth behind saying, “Money has turned our law enforcers into pigs.”

Your Gateway to Goa, India

The Gomantak Times app is the best way to stay informed on anything happening in Goa. From breaking news to the top 10 restaurants to visit, GT helps you navigate your time in Goa.

Download the Gomantak Times app on your Android or IOS device.

Related Stories

No stories found.
Gomantak Times
www.gomantaktimes.com