The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) on Saturday announced that the competent municipal authorities issued 1,065 violation reports of Law No 18 of 2017 on Public Hygiene since it was enforced on February 1.
The collected amounts of fines for these violations amounted to QR818,600. Safar Mubarak al-Shafi, Director of MME Public Cleaning Department, said that as part of enforcing the new public hygiene law, all the country's municipalities have intensified their control efforts since the first day of the law being enforced. Besides, intensive field tours by the concerned inspectors were maintained across the country with more focus on public areas. The number of spotted violations was mostly regarding abandoned vehicles, littering in undesignated areas, and deposing of solid and liquid refuse materials in unregulated way.
Al-Shafi stressed that MME gives special interest to the implementation of the new law and HE the Minister of Municipality and Environment Mohamed Abdullah al-Rumaihi follows personally this process. MME has also trained and qualified a good number of inspectors on the implementation of the new law amounting to 197 employees. Besides, a major media campaign was launched by MME ahead of implementing the law to raise public awareness on the issue, using various means of media including the social media, billboards on the major streets and other means.
In the meantime, the department visited the Central Municipal Council and briefed its members on the law so they can communicate with their respective constituency inhabitants about the proper practices and avoid any conducts that could influence the environment negatively. Al-Shafi stressed that the awareness campaign is still going side by the side with the implementation of the law.
The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) had issuing a chart on different violations of the law and the stipulated fines. His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani had issued the law, which prohibits littering in public spaces and lays down stringent penalties for offenders, in October last year.
The 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.
According to the ‘reconciliation table’ issued by the MME, leaving, dumping or disposal of construction/demolition waste and solid waste from excavation in undesignated places will entail a fine of QR6,000, while disposal of sewage in undesignated places will be penalised with a fine of QR5,000.
Leakage of any kind of materials from a vehicle travelling on a public road is punishable with a fine of QR3,000, the chart shows. Also, failure to use protective cover – and secure it tightly – for transportation and the resultant fall, leakage or flow of any object from a vehicle’s load will attract a fine of QR2,000, the MME states.
Occupying fields, public roads, streets, corridors, alleys, squares and public parking spaces with abandoned vehicles and old equipment – or parts thereof- will attract a penalty of QR1,000.
Meanwhile, the fine for throwing tissue paper, waste or empty packs, or spitting on sidewalks and roads and in public places is QR500, the MME chart shows. A similar fine has been stipulated for cleaning or hanging carpets, blankets or clothes on windows or in balconies overlooking roads and other public places.
Also, throwing or leaving waste, garbage bags, etc in front of shops or outside a designated garbage container will carry a fine of QR500, while throwing or leaving food waste in gardens, on beaches or in other public places/vacant spaces is also punishable with a similar fine. Some other offences carry a fine of QR500 as well.
The chart states that the fine for leaving waste, trash bags, leftovers or papers in front of houses, roads or public spaces is QR300, and a similar penalty will be imposed on offenders for washing cars and other vehicles in undesignated areas.
According to an earlier report published in the local media, fines up to QR25,000 and maximum jail terms of six months await those who violate the law.