BEIRUT: Influential parties are protecting 1,280 violations of seaside public properties, Public Works and Transportation Minister Gahzi Aridi said Tuesday, urging Parliament to pass draft law under study since 2006. “We cannot pass the law before enforcing fees and fines on violators,” the minister said, warning that misuse of seaside land would continue because security forces and the judiciary are not performing their duties. Speaking to the pan-Arab television station Al-Jazeera. Aridi disclosed that there are 2,535,605 square meters of illegal reclaimed lands along the coast while the illegal seaside properties are estimated at more than 412,324,000 sq meters and 294,000 sq meters of built areas. “The country is losing immense environmental ... and financial resources because of these small influential people,” he added.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 17, 2012, on page 5.