The Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) "exerted great efforts" to maintain cleanliness in the Sealine area during and after the Eid al-Fitr holidays.
Speaking to Arabic daily Arrayah, Safar Mubarak al-Shafi, the MME's Assistant Undersecretary for General Services Affairs, also noted that what circulated on social media regarding garbage accumulation alongside the Sealine area did not reflect the real facts and undermined the "great and intensive efforts" exerted to maintain cleanliness there and protect the environment.
Safar Mubarak al-Shafi
He said the images and video clips that were doing the rounds of social media in this regard were taken before 5am in a certain limited area at Sealine, where hundreds of workers were taken by their companies' buses in the late hours on the eve of the first day of Eid, and they spent the whole night there.
A large amount of garbage was left behind on the beach.
The images of violations did not reflect the reality because they were taken before the start of cleaning at 5am, he explained.
Al-Shafi said teams were assigned to clean up the area in two shifts, starting at 5am and concluding at 7pm, due to the insufficient light there.
Accordingly, all the garbage left behind by visitors was removed within an hour and a half during the morning shift.
The field teams made up of 100 workers managed to clean the entire beach and returned it to its original condition.
The quantum of garbage removed amounted to 10 tonnes, the daily reported.
The MME's general cleanliness department recorded all violations of the public hygiene law at the spot and photographed the entire site, including the number plates of the buses that had transported the workers.
Accordingly, inquiries were made and the necessary legal procedures were initiated against the violators.
The official said after taking all the necessary legal steps, the companies concerned will be issued violation reports in accordance with the law with fines that can go up to QR10,000.
This will be done as these companies are considered responsible for their workforce and should have raised awareness on the issue of public hygiene and instructed them to dispose of garbage in the designated areas only.
He said there is proper distribution of garbage containers in the Sealine area and their number was raised from 35 to 65 during the Eid holidays with a maximum distance of 15m between two containers to ease the disposal of garbage.
During the Eid holidays, the MME removed around 50 tonnes of garbage from all the beaches of the country, with 23 tonnes from the Sealine area only, it was revealed.
Al-Shafi stressed that what happened in Sealine with the workers indicated that awareness efforts were yet to reach this segment, and there was a need to address and instruct them on related issues to help prevent such unacceptable incidents.