In a routine inspection organised by municipalities, in cooperation with the fire departments, to crackdown on unlicensed basements commercially operating in investment buildings, in addition to construction violations of these properties, 67 basements in Farwaniya Governorate and five in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh have been shut down since the campaign kickstarted. The campaign is focused on preventing the unauthorised use of basements for storage purposes that could potentially endanger lives and properties.
Director of the Engineering Audit and Follow-up Department in the Farwaniya Municipality Branch, Eng. Saeed Al-Azmi, said the field campaign is a continuous effort to monitor commercial activities in basements in these areas. He also mentioned the inspection brought the closure of a market illegally operating in one of the investment buildings in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh. According to Al-Azmi, these basements lack security measures and do not abide by safety procedures, which pose safety risks to the public, as well as, fire hazards, adding that consistent check-ups are on the move to sequester the areas in the governorate.
Moreover, Firefighter Colonel Muhammad Yousef, under the directives of the Chief of the Fire Brigade, Lieutenant-General Khaled Al-Makrad, and the Deputy Head of the Prevention Sector in the Fire Brigade, Major General Khalid Abdullah Fahd, said they are doubling down on the operations. He stressed that it was through municipal cooperation that the underground market in Jleeb Al-Shuyoukh was discovered, resulting in the permanent closure of the area until necessary regulations are met. Surprise tours in markets and warehouses were also conducted leading to the seizure of basements storing inflammable materials and other chemicals.
Yousef added that the landlords of the buildings should be placed under scrutiny for noncompliance with the required protocols.