DOHA: More than 10,000 abandoned vehicles that occupy public spaces in the Industrial Area will be removed in a massive campaign launched by the authorities yesterday.
The campaign aims at removing all old vehicles, machinery and other equipment littering the streets, parking areas and other public places in the area.
The clean-up drive is spearheaded by a special committee of representatives from the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, Ministry of Interior (represented by Lakhwiya) and the Doha Municipality.
As part of the campaign, the panel has also launched a crackdown on garages encroaching upon public property to dump vehicles awaiting repair. Garages violating rules will face stern action, including closure, the committee has warned.
“We are here to give support to those removing abandoned vehicles. The pile-up of these cars are creating traffic problems, encroaching upon public spaces and damaging the view and the landscape of the area,” Al Sharq quoted Lieutenant Ali Mohammed Suwaidan of Lakhwiya as saying.
Owners of abandoned cars will be fined QR500 while owners of trucks abandoned in public places will be fined QR800, said the daily.
The Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning has supplied 30 tow vehicles to support the campaign, while three additional vehicles from Lakhwiya and seven private vehicles are also participating. The discarded vehicles will be first moved to street 1 in the Industrial Area from where they will be shifted to the scrap yards of the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning.
Once they are taken away, the owners will be able to cancel them through their municipalities.
A senior official of the Doha Municipality said the panel was expecting to remove more than 10,000 abandoned vehicles through the campaign, which will continue until the last vehicle is removed.
Once the streets are cleared of damaged and neglected vehicles, the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) will start working on projects to develop the area. Many projects have been lined up to develop the Industrial Area that is still facing crowding and congestion mainly due to its narrow and bumpy roads.
The presence of a large number of abandoned cars and equipment has worsened the situation.
The campaign follows strict warnings by the Traffic Department recently to people leaving their vehicles in public places for a long time.