DOHA: The Cabinet yesterday approved a draft law which, once put in force, would authorise the municipalities to decide the colour of the exteriors of all buildings — including the privately-owned ones.
The existing law permits building owners to choose the colour of a building’s exteriors out of three or four specified colours, and seek approval from the municipality of the area later.
The law was issued way back in 1985, and amendments were introduced to some articles of the legislation four years ago, in 2009.
The new draft law seeks to make further amendments to some provisions of the 1985 legislation, Qatar News Agency (QNA) reported yesterday.
The proposed amendments vide the new draft law largely pertain to authorising the municipalities to decide the colour of exteriors of all types of buildings in their jurisdiction. The other purpose of the amendment is to make stricter provisions to punish non-compliance — those who do not follow a building’s design as approved by the civic authorities, or encroach on government land.
Making alterations in a building, carrying out repairs or renovations, and encroaching on government land meant for public amenities such as roads and public parks, schools and hospitals all need municipal approval.
And the 1985 law makes it mandatory for an engineer or a contractor hired to carry out such alterations to make sure that the building owner does have the civic clearance for the purpose.
The punishments provided for in this legislation for non-compliance of civic rules, including the usage of a building (whether residential, commercial or industrial) are lighter — fines up to QR200 to QR500 per sq m of encroached land. The new draft law is expected to make the punitive provisions tougher to deter non-compliance of municipal regulations.
According to the 1985 legislation, an owner can carry out maintenance work and do minor repairs in a building periodically provided the type of repair figures on the list of those that are approved by the civic minister.
Sources told this newspaper that the new draft legislation that aims to authorise the municipalities to decide the colour of the exteriors of buildings might be aimed at ensuring colour uniformity zone-wise in cities and remote areas of the country for beauty.
Sources say that since the draft has already been approved by the Cabinet it could be expected to see the light of day soon.