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KUCHING, Jan 8: Kuching City North Commission (DBKU) will intensify its enforcement against errant eatery owners indiscriminately taking over five-foot walkways for their businesses.
The commission’s principal assistant director Morshidi Ahmad said the operators have been given notice to clear up the five-foot walkways since October last year and therefore by now should have complied with the notice.
Unfortunately, he said, many of these eatery owners still haven’t complied with the notice and DBKU was forced to carry out enforcement, no matter who these owners were.
“We have given notice to about 60 errant restaurant owners within our jurisdiction. They were given three months to comply by clearing the five-foot walkways from makeshift stalls or tables and chairs.
“Unfortunately even now as we are doing operations with the media, there are still many who have not complied with the notice,” he told reporters before the operation at Satok here earlier today.
Morshidi said restaurant owners who did not comply with the notice would be charged under Article 26(2)(a) of the Local Authorities (Cleanliness) By-Laws 1999 which states that any food preparation activities on the five-foot walkway are prohibited. Offenders will be fined RM1,500 for first offence; and RM3,000 for subsequent offences or nine months imprisonment, or both.
“We can even bring this matter to court and revoke their business licences,” he added.
He said the reason for this enforcement was to ensure the cleanliness of areas around the premises of the restaurants and eateries especially now with the increasing health risks in the state particularly rats infestation and stray animals which could be infected with rabies.
In relation to that, Morshidi also advised restaurant and eatery owners to properly manage their sewage and rubbish disposal properly, and to contact DBKU for assistance if needed.
Morshidi however pointed out that there were some exceptions when it comes to putting tables and chairs for customers on the five-foot walkways and even unoccupied parking spaces.
He said this could be applied through the commission with a set amount of fees and upon the thumbs-up by enforcement officers after some checks.
“Restaurant and eatery owners can apply (for approval) from us if they want to put tables and chairs for customers at these places for a fee of RM30 per table quarterly. Before approval, our enforcement officers will have to check the premises to make sure it complies with safety and traffic regulations.
“However, makeshift stalls are strictly not allowed to be at these places (five-foot walkways and unoccupied parking spaces),” said Morshidi.
When asked about stalls doing barbecue or roasting which needed to be outdoors, he said even those were not allowed. He said his team under the Kumpulan Inovatif & Kreatif (KIK) will come up with solutions to allow these stall operators to be able to operate indoors. — DayakDaily