Lower House begins discussing environmental protection bill

[26-02-2017 03:30 PM]

Ammon News - AMMONNEWS - The Lower House on Sunday began deliberations over the environmental protection bill, which aims to regulate and facilitate environmental protection practices taken by stakeholders.

According to the draft law, a fund for environmental protection will be formed by the Ministry of Environment to protect and preserve the environment by funding a variety of projects and activities.

The fund’s board of directors will be chaired by the minister of environment and will include six members nominated by the prime minister, with three of these to be chosen from among private-sector stakeholders.

Lawmakers also referred with urgency the draft amendments to the national building code to the House Public Service and Transportation Committee.

Deputy Khaled Awad (Amman, 3rd District) said: “We need to finish working on this bill urgently, given what we witnessed of building collapses.”

In late January three buildings collapsed in Amman’s Jabal Al Jofeh neighbourhood. There were no fatalities primarily due to the actions of an unemployed engineer who was in the area and helped evacuate residents after alerting the authorities.

The bill mandates that technical committees should control violations committed in residential buildings and force the owners of housing companies to remedy any faults in accordance with these committees’ recommendations.

In addition, the bill also entails strengthening the role of regulators in the construction and engineering sectors, in order to preserve public safety. The bill also stiffens penalties for offences related to both housing and district regulations.

Speaking at the session, Balqa Deputy Mustafa Yaghi said he has received complains that a public school has “installed communication towers on its rooftop, ignoring the health hazards that it might cause to the students”.

In response, Education Minister Omar Razzaz said the towers have been installed to connect schools in remote areas to the e-learning system, and enable teachers and students to benefit from innovative teaching methods.

“These towers have no health risk for students according to extensive studies that have been conducted,” Razzaz added.

The session was disrupted by a woman in the public gallery who pleaded with MPs and the minister of finance to help her with some issues she is facing.

She continued to shout and scream , prompting Lower House Speaker Atef Tarawneh to ask security forces to remove her from the session.

*Jordan Times

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