Immunity to misdemeanor


Al-Yaum newspaper

DESPITE the fact that there are strict regulations and severe penalties for shop owners who throw waste on sidewalks, many of the shops, if not all, do not pay any attention to the matter. One can observe this during a visit near the commercial streets in any city of the Kingdom.

When a worker begins his day in the shop, the first thing he does is to sweep the dust and garbage accumulated inside the shop from the previous day to the street in front or the outer sidewalk. While the municipal worker has already finished his day’s work that he begins at dawn, the dirt remains in the place until the next day. If sub-municipalities had hired supervisors to make field visits at the time of the opening of shops, they would have been able to record unpredictable numbers of violations.

If this is the situation of general stores, there are shops where the situation is much worse. These include shops that spare parts and car decorations.

The workers of these shops do not care, or rather do not care about the cleanliness of the city, neither near nor far, so they throw cans and torn boxes on the sidewalks, ignoring warnings from the municipalities, their supervisors and inspectors.

The owner of one shop selling car accessories during a discussion I had with him justified his workers’ behavior by saying that the government pays the contractor to clean the streets and sidewalks. So why he should waste his time and resources cleaning the pavement, he asked.

The words of this person are illogical and unacceptable, and the only explanation of his ways of justifying the abusers is the famous saying, “Those who feel immune to punishment misbehave.”

The ball is now in the municipality’s court, specifically in its service departments, which know its streets, have a system of regulations and instructions, and a penal code to enforce.

In other words, the municipality is the authority vested with the power of the law to deter the violators. What is it going to do?