x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

'I tip it out wherever I find space'

Sareen Dal Khan searches the inter-Emirates highways for a suitable stretch of land where he can tip the construction debris loaded on the back of his lorry.

Many lorry drivers, such as Sareen Dal Khan, who talked to The National, seemed unaware that dumping debris is illegal.
Many lorry drivers, such as Sareen Dal Khan, who talked to The National, seemed unaware that dumping debris is illegal.

Sareen Dal Khan spends his days driving the inter-Emirates highways, searching for a suitable stretch of land where he can tip the construction debris loaded on the back of his lorry. "I drive to Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Dubai to dump it, wherever I find space," he said as he filled his fuel tank at an Adnoc station in the desert heat of the industrial town of Mussafah. Mr Dal Khan, a 35-year-old Pakistani, is evidently unaware that dumping debris is illegal and he could be fined thousands of dirhams, or worse, he could lose his lorry and, in the process, his livelihood.

When the more stringent regulations go into effect, he and his fellow lorry drivers will have to register with the Government and can expect spot-checks and monitoring. Mr Dal Khan is far from alone in disposing illegally of waste. Tons of materials discarded from construction projects can be spotted outside the city, dumped from lorries in whatever convenient location can be found. Other drivers offered anecdotal evidence that it is a common practice. Mohammed Iqbal said he regularly dumped loads of rocks on the outskirts of Abu Dhabi.

Badusha, who asked that his last name be withheld, said he knew people who were paid to dump debris. And Bandico said he knew drivers who dumped waste around the capital, while he and his fellow truckers were unaware of the Government's position. "I drive from Oman to Abu Dhabi and unload the debris wherever I can," he said. "I'm just doing my job." @Email:zhankir@thenational.ae