January 08, 2010 13:19
Monday's heavy snow caused more havoc on roads than it needed to have done because some home and office owners failed to clear the snow on streets next to their properties, the National Emergency Management Agency said Thursday. It says it will revise regulations to fine them up to W1 million (US$1=W1,135).
The city of Seoul and provincial governments have their own by-laws requiring people to shovel snow next to their homes or offices, but they have been ineffective because there are no penalties for failing to do so.
Critics say the government is trying to pass the back for mishandling the emergency. According to a survey of 1,000 adults by polling agency Realmeter, 67.4 percent of respondents are opposed to the fines. But NEMA spokesman Kim In-han pointed out that the U.K. imposes a 2,000 pound (W3.6 million) fine and the U.S. state of Michigan a $500 (W600,000) fine for those who fail to clear snow in front of their properties. He said the fines are among "a range of options" the agency is considering and it will gather more public opinion.
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