Anti-noise laws meaningless if not enforced

The problem of contractors carrying out noisy work outside the stipulated hours is really a problem of non-enforcement of existing laws, more than anything else (Contractors must aim not to disturb residents, by Mr Manfred Lin; June 6).

In mid-May last year, a shop below our flat carried out renovations on weekday evenings up to 9pm and all day on Saturdays and Sundays - starting as early as 9am and continuing up to 5pm - for over a month.

A few days after the work started, we reported these disturbances to the town council and HDB's Commercial Division.

The authorities responded with statements like "we noted your concerns and have met up with the shop lessee and the contractor regarding this issue" and "a warning letter has been issued to the contractor".

Over 20 days, we reported nearly 10 further violations by the contractor, and submitted videos of the illegal work as evidence.

Every time, we would get a similar letter from the authorities stating that the contractor had been warned and that they were "monitoring the situation".

But, within a day or two of the complaint and supposed warning, the contractor would resume work, and seemingly create even more noise than before.

We gave up trying after mid-June.

The contractor appeared to be mocking us with his total disregard for the law.

Anti-noise by-laws are meaningless if they are not enforced - and offending contractors are aware of this.

HDB residents deserve far better from the law, which was designed to protect us, not the contractors.

Eric J. Brooks