His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani on Monday issued a law on public hygiene that prohibits littering in public spaces and lays down stringent penalties for offenders.

Fines of up to QR25,000 and maximum jail terms of six months await those who violate Law No 18 of 2017 on Public Hygiene.
The new legislation, which replaces Law No 8 of 1974 on public hygiene, bans littering and dumping of waste in any sort of public space such as streets, passageways, parks, gardens, beaches or empty plots of land, etc.
Also, throwing rubbish in the common areas of private buildings is prohibited and owners and residents of such buildings should keep the facades, corridors, roofs, parking areas and adjacent pavements clean and clear of any garbage.
A maximum jail term of six months and a fine of up to QR25,000, or either, will be imposed on those who dispose of solid or liquid refuse or garbage in undesignated areas. Also, dumping garbage in public and common areas entails a penalty of a maximum six months in jail and a fine of up to QR10,000, or either. Besides, the violator has to take necessary action within the designated period set by the local municipality. Otherwise, the municipality would remove it and charge the offender for the same.
Spitting in all public areas and on beaches is also banned under this law, which also prohibits urinating and defecating in public spaces not designated for such purposes. The penalty for such violations is a maximum fine of QR10,000.
It is not permitted to occupy public streets, roads, parking lots, passageways, pavements and yards with abandoned vehicles and equipment, as well as fixed or temporary construction, without a licence from the municipality concerned. This entails a maximum fine of QR25,000.
The municipality concerned may impound such equipment/vehicles, the law states. If the owner does not come forward within six months from the date of seizure to reclaim them and pay the fines, the municipality would have the right - after notifying the violator - to put them up for a public auction to collect the due sum in addition to the accumulated administrative costs. The remaining part of the sale proceeds will be given to the owner.
Further, the law states that it is not allowed to let animals or birds move around unsupervised in public areas and on roads. Also, animals and birds for trade cannot be kept in residential buildings that do not have the appropriate licence. A person keeping animals and birds for non-commercial purposes should take care of their hygiene and avoid any odours, remove their excreta and dispose of it in designated areas. The penalty for any violations in such cases is a maximum fine of QR10,000.
Similarly, the owners of shops selling birds and animals should abide by the regulations of the Ministry of Municipality and Environment and dispose of their excreta in the appropriate place and manner.
The occupants of houses, buildings, offices, commercial and industrial outlets should keep their garbage in special containers until disposal within the designated areas in accordance with the regulations. The penalty is a fine of up to QR10,000.
The law also stipulates that the municipality concerned undertakes all public cleaning works within its jurisdiction. It can also recycle or treat the collected garbage to benefit from it.
According to the new law, the vehicles used for transporting garbage should be properly covered to prevent any spillage. The penalty is a fine of up to QR10,000.
The owners of buildings with no public sewage network, have to create an appropriate means of sewage in accordance with the standards set by the municipality concerned. In case of a violation, the municipality will undertake such works and charge the owner the cost and an additional 25% of it. Failing to abide by this provision entails a maximum fine of QR25,000.
Also, the owners of such buildings have to clear the sewage tanks as soon as they are full. In case of a violation, the municipality will carry out does the job and charge the owner the cost and an additional 25% of it.
The owners of abandoned buildings or empty plots of land should keep them clean and set up a fence around them if the municipality deems it necessary. In the event of a violation, the municipality will do the job and charge the owner the cost along with an additional 25%. The penalty for offenders is a maximum fine of QR25,000.
HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment shall issue the necessary decisions to implement the stipulations of this law.
The law is to be implemented and published in the Official Gazette.
The Cabinet had given its nod to the draft law on public hygiene in May this year.

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