A stern warning for litterbugs

By Kabeer Yousuf — MUSCAT: March 13 – Litterbugs beware!! Punishment for multiple offences is awaiting you. While throwing food waste or chewing betel leaves and spitting recklessly in public places, be ready to shell out few extra bucks as fine. If found to be spoiling the beauty of the country or trying to tarnish the image of the local tourist destinations, you will be booked for multiple charges, it is learnt. “Littering at public places, chewing tobacco and spitting in public and throwing garbage recklessly are offences of various grades and can be booked under the civic law as well as criminal procedures,” a source at Muscat Municipality has said.

It has been found that various subways, pedestrian bridges and other public places are dirtied by thoughtless acts of people and thus causing inconvenience to fellow citizens and residents in the country. “These acts are not only causing great inconvenience to public, but also sending a wrong message to the outside world of Oman’s spotless environment,” he added. Tourist destinations including parks are dirtied by people who spend a day out at these places and leaving the used barbecue and charcoal wastes in the parks itself. “Those who spend their picnics at tourist destinations and parks are expected to clear the wastes themselves and leave the place clean.”

Pedestrian bridges and subways bear the abuse silently leaving marks of recklessness causing a great eyesore. “I always walk across the pedestrian bridge to go to the airport where I work,” says Rizvan Sidhique, an employee of a travel agency. “The pathetic condition of the walkways caused by people who frequent the bridge is beyond any stretch of imagination, and I feel strong action need to be taken against such offenders,” he said. Various campaigns have been launched by the Muscat Municipality and the Ministry of Tourism in association with the Royal Oman Police (ROP) to ensure that the city and suburbs are kept clean. “Fines ranging from RO 100 to RO 1,000 are in store for those who litter public places and people are urged to refrain from such acts,” the source added.