The Sharjah Municipality will seize sporting goods used in green areas. - Photos by M. Sajjad
Sharjah - If you're caught playing in green areas, the fine is Dh500, says municipality.
If you play cricket or football, or ride bicycles in green areas of Sharjah, you will be fined Dh500, the Sharjah Municipality has warned. The civic body's inspectors will also seize all the sporting equipment used in the green areas.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Mohammed Al Kabbi, head of beaches and square safety at the municipality, said playing in green zones damage them. Flowers, grass, ornamental plants, fences and other public properties get damaged, he said.
The violators will also have to pay the cost of the damages to public property. Municipality inspectors are working round the clock to monitor environmental violations, he said.
|Consequences - This is what happens if you are caught playing in green zones> Violators' Emirates ID is taken away and a fine ticket is issued|
> Violators need to visit the Sharjah Municipality's customer service centre with the ticket and pay the fine to get their ID back
> If the violation is repeated, they are made to sign an undertaking stating they will not repeat the violation
The municipality has also observed that children play in green areas and lawns, including Al Ittihad Park and around the Central Souq, he said. These children not only damage public property, but also private ones, as often the balls they throw hit cars and break building windows.
Al Kabbi said in 2015, inspectors fined 195 people - mostly for playing cricket and football in green areas. This number, however, has dropped by 75 per cent as compared to the violations reported in 2014, when 390 people were fined.
Al Kabbi attributed the significant decrease in the number of such violations to the municipality's initiatives to raise awareness among the public, intensified inspections and tough penalties imposed.
He explained that when violators are caught, their ID is taken away and a fine is issued. They are then required to visit the municipality's customer service centre with the ticket and pay the fine to get their ID back. If the violation is repeated, they are given an awareness publication. They also need to sign an undertaking, stating they will not repeat the violation.
Omar Al Sharji, director-general of Customer Service Department at Sharjah Municipality, said the municipality has received several complaints from residents about children playing in public areas. Many also complained about men playing cricket in public squares.
He explained that the municipality has allocated places in industrial areas for playing cricket and football. The Sharjah government, he said, issued licences to sports courts in different parts of the emirate for residents to play their favourite sports. Children are allowed to play in the sports courts of residential parks, he affirmed.
He called on parents to monitor their children and not allow them to play on the streets for their own safety.- email@example.com
Laborers are playing at al Ithad park on the weekend in Sharjah – Photo by M.Sajjad