The government approves a PL which provides for prison sentences

The government has approved a draft law which provides for prison sentences for anyone who drills a well, a water point, cavities, an underground, a tunnel, or installs a pipeline or a canal without taking the precautions and indications of use prescribed by law in workshops. The PL thus provides for a prison sentence of one to six months and a fine of 5 to 15,000 dirhams, or one of these two penalties.

The proposal also seeks to punish anyone who fails to take precautions in such work and terminates it without ensuring the conditions for the safety of persons against danger, with imprisonment from one month to two years, and a fine of 10,000 to 20,000 dirhams, noting that the penalty is doubled if the place is inhabited.

According to data obtained by MoroccoLatestNewsthe Minister of Equipment and Water, Nizar Baraka, who attended the meeting to present the proposal last Monday, agreed to give his agreement to the PL on the condition of making some modifications aimed at to improve.

In this regard, the Infrastructure, Energy, Minerals and Environment Committee in the House of Representatives, chaired by MP Mohamed Mellal, will form a sub-committee to prepare a final version of the draft in accordance with the government.

On the other hand, Mohamed Mellal, told MoroccoLatestNews that such a law has become urgent in order to protect citizens from the dangers of clandestine wells, and so that the tragedy of the Rayan child does not happen again, stressing that the Minister of Equipment and Water presented shocking data on clandestine wells and holes discovered in Morocco.

According to the same parliamentarian, data presented by Nizar Baraka revealed that the number of registered wells reached 28,600 nationwide, indicating that 91% of these wells are unlicensed.

The deputy also indicated that the representatives of the parliamentary groups in the committee showed a positive interaction with the aforementioned proposal, stressing the importance of providing a legal framework to establish conditions of public security and protect citizens from dangers arising from exploration and water exploitation sites.

The group of the Socialist Union of Popular Forces, which proposed this PL, based its proposal on Chapter 31 of the Constitution, which affirms that the State, public institutions and local authorities work to mobilize all means available to facilitate citizens’ access to water and to live in a healthy environment.

The same group stressed that this proposal aims not to repeat the suffering and the tragedy of the Rayan child, considering that the rational exploitation of the wells requires that the government and the territorial collectivities move within the framework of a national campaign to close all abandoned and unused holes and shafts as well as anything that would endanger the safety of people.

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