The first abandoned vehicle removal campaign of the new year is expected to pick up some 500 cars in Al Rayyan Municipality
A campaign that seeks to remove up to 30 abandoned cars a day from within the jurisdiction of the Al Rayyan municipality began on Sunday. Local authorities are carrying out this project alongside the Internal Security Force (Lekhwiya) and a joint committee tasked with removing abandoned vehicles. The project is expected to clean up some 500 cars from the streets of Al Rayyan.
The initiative is part of continuous efforts from the Ministry of Municipality to preserve the aesthetic view of the country in line with Law No. 18 of 2017 regarding public hygiene.
According to this Law, an abandoned vehicle is one that is left in any public space, including streets, sidewalks, and in front of houses in a manner that distorts public view or traffic safety. The owner of an abandoned vehicle must remove the car within three days of being notified, otherwise the municipality impounds the vehicle. Owners who fail to meet the deadline will then have to pay a fine of QR 1000 in addition to QR 500 for light vehicles, QR 800 for heavy vehicles, and QR 2000 for heavy equipment to the Mechanical Equipment Department.
Jaber Hassan Al Jaber, Director of Al Rayyan Municipality, said Sunday’s campaign is part of a specific action plan to remove abandoned cars in the country in preparation for the upcoming World Cup. He added that this will continue for the next two weeks until all abandoned vehicles in the municipality of Al Rayyan are removed. The campaign intends to clean up 25 to 30 cars per day to achieve this goal.
Every year, thousands of vehicles with expired registrations are abandoned in public spaces in Qatar. The Industrial City is home to one of the biggest sites covering a space of an estimated 1 to 2 square kilometers. Due to the lack of a proper disposal system set in place, abandoning vehicles is the most common mechanism of removing cars. Given the number of imported automobiles in the country, not enough are going out safely and sustainably.
In the past, the joint committee for the removal of abandoned vehicles has conducted similar campaigns in Al Shamal, Al Khor, Al Zakhira, Umm Salal, and Al Sheehaniya. Last year, over 6000 vehicles were picked up from eight different municipalities in the country. Though that number is gradually increasing, it pales in comparison to the tens of thousands that are still waiting in line.
Qatar’s Ministry of Interior regularly auctions off vehicles that have surpassed their legal period of impoundment. The General Directorate of Traffic, a division of the ministry, is expected to arrange a public auction to sell vehicles as a response to this issue.