Sharjah: The Sharjah municipality has re-enforced its rules and started a crackdown recently against residents displaying laundry and satellite dishes on their balconies.
Engineer Sultan Abdullah Al Mualla, Director General of Sharjah Municipality, told Gulf News yesterday that the law was implemented in 2004 by the Sharjah Executive Council but residents continue to flout the rules.
"Even though residents have been fined, they continue to hang their laundry on their balconies.
"Balconies were not made to look like a kitchen, and they should only be used for the intention that they were created for. This is a rule that was also applied in Dubai and Abu Dhabi."
Last week, Sharjah Municipality started redistributing pamphlets — printed in English, Arabic, Farsi and Hindi — in residential buildings.
The pamphlet states that anyone who violates rules would be subjected to a fine of Dh250, to be paid within a week. If the tenants fail to make the payment within the stipulated time, the fine would be increased to Dh500.
The pamphlet also states that residents should call the municipality hotline 993 if they have any queries about the rules.
Eng. Al Mualla also stressed that the rules have to be enforced since laundry and satellite dishes are hazardous in the event of a fire.
He further explained that municipality inspectors have witnessed a number of balconies that store discarded objects that face public streets, adding that Sharjah Municipality wanted to stop the practise where people use their balconies as a storage room.
"The landlord is responsible in providing their tenants with a single satellite dish that is placed on the roof of the building, which is connected to all apartments.
"So if there is a satellite dish already available, why do residents buy their own and place it on their balconies? This practise should stop immediately," he said.
However, residents have not welcomed the recent municipality crackdown against hanging their laundry on their balconies, reasoning that they have no choice.
"Using a drier is not enough because it does not necessarily kill off the bacteria. I do not understand why I cannot hang out the clothes in the balcony, especially now when it is so hot and the clothes get dried in 20 minutes," said Meena, a mother of three.
"The building I live in has a space on the rooftop to dry the clothes but my clothes have disappeared on several occasions, so I do not want to go through that risk again.
"If I do not use my balcony I might use a laundry-stand and put it in the living room, but then I will have a problem because the clothes will not get dried as quick.
"And it will also be embarrassing for me if a friend visits me unexpectedly and sees my laundry in the middle of the room," Lubna said.
- Dh250: fine for satellite dish, laundry in balconies
- Dh500: for failure to pay initial penalty within a week
A Sharjah municipality pamphlet states that residents should call the municipality hotline 993 if they have any queries about the rules.
What do you think of the crackdown? What action should be taken against offenders?