300 Sharjah residents fined over ‘ugly balconies’
The Sharjah Municipality has fined more than 300 residents this year, so far, for hanging clothes for drying, storing unused materials and installing dish antennae in balconies of apartments.
Over 9,400 fines were issued for violations related to “distorting the appearance of the city” last year. A Dh500 fine is imposed on violators, which is doubled in case of non-payment.
Speaking to Khaleej Times, Faisal Al Mulla, director, city monitoring department of Sharjah Municipality, said the civic body in an intensified campaign issued such fines within the framework of its keenness to maintain the civilised appearance and beauty of the city.
“The municipality had issued orders to prevent hanging of laundry and installation of TV dish antennae in balconies and windows,” he said.
The municipality will continue its inspections to ensure that residents are abiding by the regulation.
Residents can use balconies for drying clothes, but in a way that they are not seen from outside. Balconies should be kept clean to avoid distorting the appearance of the building.
Storing unused furniture in balconies could prove dangerous as children could step on them and fall. In the last three years about 100 children have died after falling from balconies.
Mohammed Ibrahim Al Hosani, head of the inspection section at the city monitoring department of the municipality said that the authority has been distributing booklets to make the residents aware of the rule which prohibits hanging clothes, installing TV dishes and dumping other discarded materials in the balconies.
The municipality also ordered the building managements and owners to place a ban on circulars that are put at the entrance of buildings.
He added that the municipality will continue the awareness campaign by distributing circulars as well as leaflets and brochures to all residents. These publications are in four languages – Arabic, English, Persian and Hindi.
He urged the public to call the municipality hotline 993 to report any violation, stressing that the team will immediately transfer the complaint to the department concerned for appropriate action.
Al Hosani said the action is based on administrative order No.17, issued on May 24, 1997, which prohibits hanging of laundry in the balconies and windows of all buildings to preserve public health and the beauty of the city.