EPA preparing new decree to impose fees on cafés serving sheesha

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 14: Environment Public Authority (EPA) has prepared a new executive decree concerning shopping malls, markets and cafés with the suggestion of imposing special fees on cafés that serve sheesha, reports Al-Rai daily. Deputy Director for Technical Affairs at EPA Mohammad Al- Enezi explained that extensive campaigns will be carried out on a daily basis in this regard. The decree specifies fees that need to be paid by places where smoking of sheesha is allowed. This will be one of the conditions that need to be met for obtaining an EPA license.

Al-Enezi said EPA is not against the idea of specifying a large section of beaches for barbequing, provided these places are specified by Kuwait Municipality or managed by the private sector. Such activities will represent a good source of investment, and these places can be rented out to those who want them.

He denied that the decree includes articles with penalty of deportation of expatriate violators of environmental law, clarifying that EPA is not authorized to enforce such a penalty, as the role of EPA is limited to issuance of citation based on legal procedures.

Al-Enezi revealed that 2,500 citations have been recorded since the time the new decree was enforced, and 1,400 of them were referred to the Public Prosecution. He urged owners of spring camps to abide by the relevant regulations, affirming that the camps are monitored by air surveillance and land patrols. He stressed that the penalties in this regard are not limited to just fines but also includes referral to the Public Prosecution in some cases.

Al-Enezi warned that anyone who makes illegal connections to rainwater drainages in order to dispose liquid wastes will be referred to the Public Prosecution, indicating that EPA has already referred to Public Prosecution a number of state institutions affiliated to some ministries after they were proven to commit this violation. He stressed that the main reason behind cases of fish deaths in the Kuwaiti territorial waters is the dumping of sewage water into the sea.

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