Dubai Municipality Plans 10-fold Hike in Fines for Overflowing Sewage at Labour Camps
Joy Sengupta 15 December 2008 for KHALEEJ TIMES
DUBAI - As overflowing sewage tanks continue to dog many labour accommodations in Al Quoz and parts of Sonapur, the Dubai Municipality is planning a 10-fold increase in the fine for owners of these camps.
In a talk with this reporter on Sunday, Salem bin Mesmar, Assis tant Director-General for Health, Safety and Environment Control, said the fine for accumulation of sewage in the labour camps will be increased to Dh10,000 from Dh1,000. “With many accommodation owners not acting swiftly and seriously enough, the civic body needs to make them understand about the gravity of the situation,” Mesmar said.
Overflowing of sewage from the tanks has been a frequent problem for the past several months in many camps in Al Quoz and Sonapur. As these camps are not connected to the drainage, sewage has to be transported in tankers to Al Aweer Sewage Treatment Plant. The delay in removing sewage results in overflowing of tanks.
Mesmar said the responsibility of ensuring clean and hygienic accommodation is with the owners.
“The owners have to ensure that the camps are clean. Overflowing sewage poses serious health hazards. The municipality has come across a lot of complaints but many of these owners don’t take them seriously at all. In addition to the increased fines, the municipality will intensify inspections,” the official said.
Mesmar added that by the end of this month, a huge ‘lagoon’ will be set up in Lehbab area where 500 tankers can dispose of sewage at a single time. “This temporary arrangement will ease the pressure at the Al Aweer plant for the time being and the trucks will be able to visit the accommodations on a regular basis.
The first phase of the new Jebel Ali Sewage Treatment Plant will be ready by June next year which will further reduce pressure on the Al Aweer Plant,” the official said.