DOHA: People found abandoning vehicles without cancelling their road permit might be punished, as their dealings with the interior ministry may be stopped.
A proposal to the above effect is being considered by the government, according to a committee set up to curb the practice of irresponsibly abandoning cars.
A car owner should either get the road permit of a vehicle renewed or, if he wishes to dump it, get the road permit cancelled.
Most car owners who dump their vehicles do so because they are old and carry huge fines due to traffic violations, according to members of the above committee.
“Sometimes, the fines piled up in respect of a car are more than its market price, so its owner abandons it,” a committee member said.
The good news is that to discourage people from dumping old cars without cancelling their road permit, the government has decided to write off fines.
“The traffic department has eased the procedures that one needs to go through to discontinue using a car. One can simply cancel its registration without paying any fine,” said a committee member.
“All the fines due for traffic rule violations in respect of the car whose registration is being cancelled will be waived, so dumping is no solution,” added the member.
The committee to deal with abandoned vehicles and propose ways to curb the problem was set up in February 2013.
It has members from the Internal Security Force, popularly known as Lekhwiya, and the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning, among other ministries and state agencies.
Some members of the committee recently took part in a Ramadan tent debate held by Al Sharq Arabic daily on the issue of abandoned vehicles.
Among those present were Major Jabr Al Kubaisi from Lekhwiya, and Jassem Abdullah Jabr and Mohamed Faraj Al Kubaisi, both from the municipal ministry.
Since its formation 16 months ago, the committee has removed more than 11,000 abandoned cars from roadsides, grounds and other public places in five of the seven municipalities in the country.
The committee first identifies abandoned cars, makes a list and then pastes stickers on the vehicles asking their owners to take them away within three days.
If a car is not taken away by its owner in three days, the committee removes it.
The owner can claim the car back within three months after paying a fine.
The fine is QR500 for small cars, QR800 for trucks and heavy vehicles and QR2,000 for machines and equipment.
A car unclaimed after three months becomes state property and is auctioned as scrap.
Many owners dump their vehicles and leave for good.
But most abandoned cars are old, said committee members.
There is a law regulating dumped vehicles but remains unimplemented.
It would soon be put in force.
Meanwhile, a contract has been given to a company to lift 24,000 abandoned cars for use as steel scrap.
The company is to take delivery of these cars in lots of 3,000 each.