Smoking, especially shisha, in the closed rooms of public cafes should be banned completely, the Central Municipal Council (CMC) demanded this week. 
The council asked the Ministry of Economy and Commerce (MEC) to cancel the licences of all the closed rooms and cabins set apart for shisha at the cafes that offer tobacco products and its derivatives. 
In addition, the shops that serve food and beverages beside shisha and tobacco products, should be obliged to make transparent glass barriers for the places designated for smoking, so as to facilitate easy monitoring to prevent minors getting access.
The council also recommended that such shops should be ordered to prominently display warning signs indicating the dangers of smoking and shisha. 
The issue was discussed earlier by the council which saw that such cafes and places pose risks to the public health and could encourage young people to smoke. The council further called for stricter control on the shisha cafes to curb the spread of smoking.
The CMC asked the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) to ease the procedures for building permits at the various municipalities and provide applicants with the necessary permits as quickly as possible.
The council hosted a number of MME officials to discuss the issue.
The council told the officials that it had received complaints from a number of Qataris regarding the delays they experienced when applying for building permits.
They complained in particular regarding the difficulty to follow all the procedures. Accordingly, the council asked the officials to reconsider such procedures and adopt a new strategy to streamline the process.
Saad Abdulkareem al-Qahtani, director of the Technical Affairs Department at Al Rayyan Municipality, pointed out that such delays are not caused by the municipality as there is an electronic system that eases the application for building permits.
However, the delay could be caused by the consultant engineer of the project as there is no mechanism to contact him directly.
He further affirmed that the building completion certificate is issued in one day. 
The council also received a reply from the office of HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment regarding its previous recommendations to ensure safety procedures while using cranes at building sites.
The MME inspectors are stringently enforcing the safety rules on such sites, it was stressed.
Related Story