Ministry to get tough on old buildings

 20 Feb 2013 - 2:33

DOHA: The Central Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday called on the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning to prepare a list of all the buildings in the country that require immediate maintenance or need to be demolished.

The presence of several old and dilapidated buildings across the country leaving a bad impression on onlookers has prompted the civic council to call for stricter action against such facilities.

Once the list is ready, it has to be forwarded to the demolition and maintenance committee at the Ministry so that it can take action against such buildings. This list will also help the Ministry to set up a database of all the buildings across the country, the Council members felt.

The CMC in its regular meeting yesterday approved a report prepared by its services committee on this issue.

The report also proposed to issue unified guidelines for maintenance of buildings that will be helpful to property owners and the municipalities implementing the decision of the maintenance and demolition committee.

“Several residential and administrative buildings overlooking the highways or inside the residential areas need to be demolished or repaired. Owners of these buildings should be forced to maintain it according to the procedures specified by the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning to avoid any possible accidents and keep them nice-looking,” said Engineer Jassim bin Abdullah Al Malki, CMC’s deputy chairman and head of the services committee, while presenting the report.

According to the law, if the committee concerned at the Ministry issues a decision regarding maintenance or demolition of a building and the owner fails to implement it within the given time, the Ministry will do it on its own and force the owner to bear the expense, which will be 25 per cent more than the actual cost, the report said, quoting a senior official of the Doha Municipality.

The Municipality has launched an inspection campaign to look into the old and dilapidated buildings that are giving a bad look to the city, said the official.

The committee concerned at the Municipality since its inception has issued 71 decisions for maintenance or demolition of buildings, said the report.

The most common violations of the law include keeping AC holes uncovered, exposing water tanks on the terrace to public view and failure to stick to the permitted colours for buildings. Owners violating the law will face fines ranging from QR500 to QR50,000.

The Peninsula