The public says that a fine is too light a punishment for such a crime " />

Azerbaijani official fined for polluting the sea – second time this season

The public says that a fine is too light a punishment for such a crime

The head of the Azersu Baku water department, Qabil Quliev, has been fined 2500 manat (about USD 1 480) for pumping wastewater into the Caspian Sea via Buzovna village near Baku.

The event was preceded by a call and complaint lodged through the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources’ ‘hot line’. An investigation showed that toxins in the water had surpassed acceptable levels.

Azersu is a communal enterprise which is involved in the water supply and sewer systems of Azerbaijan.

Buzovna is one of the seaside villages around Baku, and is popular with beach-goers in summer. Every season, people complain that the sea (as at other spots) is dirty and that nobody is taking responsibility for the issue. However, this is already the second case this season when an official has been punished for dumping waste in the sea. About one month ago, the head of the water department of Sumqayit, Darvin Huseynov, was similarly fined 3000 manat (USD 1 775) for polluting the sea.

Social media users say that the punishment is not enough, and have offered several other options:

“Fining him isn’t enough, he should be arrested.”

“They should have fired him.”

“They should put him into this dirty water.”

Social media users also raised the topic of whether or not it is worth going into the sea at all on local beaches:

“I haven’t gone into the Caspian Sea since 2005 and I wouldn’t recommend it. It’s not worth risking your life.”

“I want to go to the beach, but I didn’t have enough money or time to go abroad this year, and I avoid the sea here. And I won’t let my children go into the water here either.”

“When you go into the water here, don’t think about all the nasty gunk that is floating around: from E. Coli to who knows what. How are we still alive…?”

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