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Friday , November 15 2019

‘Environmental violations’ at car wash stations, gold shops

‘Not many old buildings in Kuwait’

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 5: Director of the Inspection and Control Department at the Environment Public Authority (EPA), Dr Mishal Al- Ibrahim, revealed during his recent tour he has seen a number of environmental violations in various fields, notably the absence of units to separate water from oil at car washing stations and burning of chemicals in gold workshops, reports Al-Anba daily.

Al-Ibrahim told the daily that a Judicial team (environmental police) is doing its work through periodic inspection of all facilities in various provinces to follow up the implementation of the environmental protection law. He said the departments in the six governorates are carrying out campaigns to inspect, raise awareness and monitor violations, focusing on the industrial zones and on the various areas and facilities from where complaints are submitted to the EPA.

He pointed out that EPA receives these complaints on its website or through the social media or through the application of the law where the complaint is monitored and examined in cooperation with the relevant departments in the EPA as well as the concerned authorities in coordination with the Environment Police. He pointed out that EPA is looking at all types of violations, whether soil, air, waste or smoking, car wash stations, industrial workshops and others.

He also pointed out that the teams have recently spotted during visits to gold workshops many irregularities in terms of chemicals used and which are burned to extract gold powder and this is contrary to the environment law apart from the work environment and the cleanliness of workshops and their small size compared to the workload. He talked about car wash stations that suffer from several irregularities, the most important of which is that there are no treatment units to separate the oil from water and this is environmentally harmful.

Meanwhile, Deputy Director General of Kuwait Municipality for Jahra and Capital governorates Faisal Al-Juma’a said the number of old buildings and real estate properties in the country is very small, not big as claimed by some and there is no proof for such a claim, reports Al-Rai daily. He told the daily that if it is proven a building is unsafe, the Municipality will immediately evacuate the residents, cut off electricity and ask the owner to demolish the structure.

He pointed out that in case the owner does not comply with the Municipality’s instruction, the latter will demolish the building and the owner shall shoulder the expenses. He added the number of properties which were restored and renovated is considered the highest compared to complaints about the probability of collapse. He affirmed the Municipality regularly instructs the real estate owners to renovate the facades of their properties. “We issue a violation citation if the building or property is in danger of collapse and the violation is referred to the Public Prosecution to determine the amount of fine,” he explained He clarified it is possible to demolish buildings and properties that are less than 50 years old since the demolition decision has nothing to do with the age of the building. Regarding the unification of colors of buildings, he stressed the absence of a detailed decision to unify the color so this cannot be applied considering there is no penalty for those who violate it. He noted the Municipality is currently studying a proposal submitted by members of the Municipal Council on the unification of the color of buildings.

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