Dubai: If you think jettisoning your cigarette butt from your car window will go unnoticed by the watchful eyes of authorities, think again.
The civic body has intensified its campaign against motorists and beach-goers who throw their cigarette butts on roads and public beaches, and will slap first-time offenders with a Dh500 fine.
The fine will double, then treble for each repeat offence for litterbugs.
Spitting is also punishable with fines.
“While the campaign focuses on the littering of cigarettes and other pieces of paper, we are also trying to curb the unhygienic habits of people who spit on the road,” said Abdul Majeed Saifaie, director of waste management department at Dubai Municipality.
“There are people who, when stuck in traffic, have a bad habit of opening their door and spitting on the road. This kind of behaviour is unacceptable, and even though we have issued clear signs in public areas stating that spitting will incur a fine, motorists continue to do it,” he said.
“Authorities spend billions of dirhams on road projects and we employ hundreds of workers to keep the city clean, but it is also essential for the public to play their role in keeping their environment clean,” he said.
Municipal inspectors will keep a strict watch against littering, and will not show any leniency against offenders who have no regard for the city’s cleanliness.
“Motorists will also bear the responsibility of any litter that is thrown from their car, even if it is carried out by their children or one of their passengers,” said Saifaie.
To help motorists avoid the temptation of littering, they can keep a small rubbish bag inside their car.
As part of efforts to maintain the city’s cleanliness, the building department has also bolstered its campaign to inspect buildings and check whether they are up to the mark, in keeping with Dubai’s global status.
“Inspections have been intensified on buildings located on both sides of the red and green lines of the Metro. Building owners have been issued notices to carry out the necessary maintenance, painting work or cleaning of the facades of buildings,” said Eng Jabir Ahmad Al Ali, head of the building inspection section at Dubai Municipality.
He also said that Dubai Municipality is offering demolition services to those who are not willing to go ahead with construction works, and will charge nominal fees to carry out the demolition.
“Our inspectors carry out routine inspections on such buildings, and the owners of poorly constructed property or abandoned buildings are given notices to make the necessary amendments,” he said.