Dubai Litterbugs Face the ‘VPD’Joy Sengupta

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Dubai Litterbugs Face the ‘VPD’Joy Sengupta
Joy Sengupta for KHALEEJ TIMES 21 October 2008

dubai – A new ‘Voice Portal Device’ (VPD) would enable Dubai Municipality inspectors to record fines against people who are caught spitting on the roads or littering.

The device was launched on Monday at the municipality’s stall at the ongoing Gitex Dubai 2008.

According to Hussain Nasser Lootah, Acting Director-General of Dubai Municipality, by using the device municipality inspectors would be able to issue fines on the spot by simply dialling a dedicated telephone number and reporting the offence.

The system would recognise the voice, dialect and accent in both English and Arabic of the inspectors.

“The device will be handed over to all the inspectors soon. It would be used to record fines of all kinds in the near future,” said Lootah.

“There’s no need to use the telephone’s keypad to report offences. Nor do the inspectors need to note down the details of the offender.

“Officers are required to simply speak. The rest is handled automatically by the system. The solution uses voice biometrics to verify a Dubai Municipality officer’s identity and authenticates it to issue fines and instantly report violations across the city,” Lootah said.

Municipality officials explained that once a violator is caught, the inspector would take his name and mobile number and speak into the gadget, mentioning the person’s name, his mobile number and the nature of violation.

“Once this is done, an SMS is sent to the offender informing him of the fine,” they said.

They stated that the municipality was planning to intensify steps against litterbugs.

“In an effort to make social responsibility towards cleanliness more concrete, the Waste Management Department will give the law-enforcement powers to both the municipality officials as well as those from outside,” Lootah added.