Tyre shops, godowns and puncture repair shops must keep all tyres stored indoors or face a fine and jail under new regulations introduced by the Local Government Department on Monday.
The local government secretary, under Section 192 of the Model Bylaws 2005, has directed all tyre shops, godowns, and puncture shops to register with their town municipal administration (TMA). The orders were issued verbally on Saturday but formally notified yesterday (Monday). Town municipal officers (TMOs) and town officers for regulations (TORs) have been ordered to raid such shops and warehouses which do not register or violate the law, offences which carry a fine of up to Rs15,000 or three months in jail.
The shop owners have been ordered to conduct their business in covered areas and wrap their stock of tyres so as to prevent them collecting water in which dengue mosquito can breed. They were also directed to cover their godowns with tarpaulin.
The nine TMAs have already surveyed their areas and found some 1,800 tyre and puncture shops. “That does not include godowns and auto workshops. We are still collecting data on that,” said Tariq Zaman, the district officer for the environment. “We have to make sure that all the tyres in the shops are cleared of stagnant water by today as sixty to seventy percent of the dengue spread was due to these tyres.”
Zaman said that shop owners had accepted the added scrutiny of their wares but some godown owners had resisted when TMAs sealed them upon discovering mosquito larvae.
He said that the registration of shops and godowns would begin soon. “It could take months as the total number is in the thousands. Even after the dengue outbreak is finished we have to keep these places under observation so the virus does not hit the city as fiercely next year,” he said.
Tyre shops in Neela Gumbad appeared to accept the new regulations, but second-hand tyre sellers and puncture shops complained about them. Faisal Younis, president of the Neela Gumbad traders’ association, said that the shop owners had ended all outdoor activities before the city government’s anti-encroachment drive. “We are cooperating with the government as we know that tyres have been a big source of dengue. We also know how lethal this virus is,” he said.
But Ikram Hanif, owner of Old Tyre and Puncture in Naulakha, said that he would not register with the TMA. “Our shops are too small and we can’t keep all our stuff inside. As soon as the dengue threat goes away we will display our tyres outside, otherwise business will suffer,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 11th, 2011.