Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 June 2019

Litter louts ruin visitors’ enjoyment at Sharjah waterfront

Many people are failing to follow the rules about cleaning up, leaving uneaten food, bottles and packaging strewn behind them after picnics.
Sharjah officials are determined to beat litter bugs at the waterfront to allow visitors to enjoy a slice of peace. Satish Kumar / The National
Sharjah officials are determined to beat litter bugs at the waterfront to allow visitors to enjoy a slice of peace. Satish Kumar / The National

SHARJAH // Al Majaz waterfront is a welcome haven in the middle of Sharjah for residents to get away from the noise and traffic – but unfortunately not the litter.

The stretch of landscaped lawns, restaurants and waterside walks attracts families from all over the emirate and beyond, but not always the considerate ones.

Many people are failing to follow the rules about cleaning up, leaving uneaten food, bottles and packaging strewn behind them after picnics.

Filipina Sandra Jonathan visits the waterfront regularly with her friends and is upset by the mess people leave.

“The waterfront is a getaway for us on the weekend,” said the 23-year-old sales agent. “Some families dump their rubbish and leave. We have to clean it sometimes as there is no other place to sit because the corniche is so busy.”

Sharjah officials have also had enough and have banded together a team of 60 inspectors who will fine litter louts up to Dh500.

The inspectors patrol other landmarks and parks, including Al Qasba, and the Al Hira and Al Mamzar beaches. Desert areas along Al Dhaid road and near University City are also targeted.

“We monitor for residents who litter and issue them a warning to clean up. If they fail to do so we fine them Dh500,” said an inspector who was stationed at Al Majaz over the weekend.

“Some do not take our warning seriously and we try to be patient and warn them again before we resort to issuing a fine.”

Barbecues and smoking shisha are banned in public green areas but not all visitors are aware of the rules, which are strictly enforced in Sharjah, said the inspector.

Smoking shisha in public comes with a fine of Dh1,000 and confiscation of the pipe.

The get-tough attitude and news of the team of inspectors was welcomed by Sharjah residents.

“Such unacceptable behaviour should not go unpunished,” said Khalid Ahmad, who lives in Al Qasimiya. “We want the area to be always clean.

“An inspector warned me about my nine-year-old, who dropped his food on the grass at Al Majaz while playing with his brother,” said the 34-year-old father of two, who works at a construction company.

“We cleaned up the little mess and continued enjoying our outing.”

Faisal Al Mula, director of the Sharjah City Monitoring Department, said signs in public areas clearly outlined the rules and the penalties for breaking them.

“The signs are in different languages and people need to adhere to the rules or be fined.”

Inspectors and cleaning crews are deployed throughout the day with more frequent patrols at peak times.

tzriqat@thenationalae​

Updated: February 28, 2016 04:00 AM

SHARE

SHARE