(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Beware, litterbugs: The department of public works in Ras Al Khaimah is now taking its Rakib patrols to residential areas to catch polluters and violators of the emirate's environment laws.
Ahmad Al Shehi, an advisor to the department, said that since the patrols started monitoring parks, beaches and other public areas in 2013, it has significantly reduced environment violations - the most common of which is littering.
"It has raised and developed public awareness on how to preserve the environment, keep it clean, and dump waste at designated places," Al Shehi said.
Now that Rakib will be covering residential neighbourhoods, the team is expecting more people to understand their responsibility in keeping the emirate clean and green.
Records showed that the department nabbed at least 5,105 people for environmental violations from January to May this year. "A total of 412 were also registered during the Eid Al Fitr holiday," Al Shehi said.
If a violator gets caught, however, the person may pay the fine through the new devices that have been installed across the emirate.
This way, no one needs to go to the department headquarters to settle a fine, he explained.
"The new payment devices will be installed in crowded areas, such as Jebel Jais, beaches and public parks," Al Shehi said. "All these devices will be connected to the department's system, allowing payers to avail of discounts that are available."
Last month, the department offered a 30 per cent discount on all the environment violations to mark the holy month of Ramadan. A similar discount was announced on Happiness Day.
"A toll-free number (8008118) has also been launched, so that the public can report any environment violation or provide feedbacks on any relevant issue. It's also the number to call for any inquiries," Al Shehi said.
"Such violations may also be reported via our smart app 'Kolona Rakib' ('We All Monitor')."
Originally from Egypt, I have been in Dubai since December 2005. Before coming here, I worked as an English language instructor, chief En/Ar translator, proofreader, reporter in Egypt and Qatar. I have also worked as a reporter, correspondent and simultaneous translator with two satellite channels in Dubai. I have a masters degree in media, Cairo University, 2014, a bachelor degree in English language and translation, Ain Shams University, Cairo, 1996, and three post-graduate diplomas in English language and Instruction. With over 19 years of experience in translation, interpretation, EFL instruction, and reporting. I am interested in technology, aviation, politics, as well as community, parliament and defence issues. I enjoy reading, writing, exercising, and surfing the web.