Some 50 abandoned vehicles were removed from the Old Airport area of Doha yesterday as a campaign launched by the civic authorities got under way.
The vehicles were removed after warning stickers pasted on them – and asking their owners to take them away – did not yield the desired results.
The campaign to remove abandoned vehicles from across the city is being conducted jointly by Doha Municipality in collaboration with the Committee for Removing Abandoned Vehicles and the Ministry of Municipality and Environment’s (MME) Mechanical Equipment Department.
The officials who took part in the launch of the campaign yesterday included Saleh Hassan al-Kuwari, vice-chairman of the committee; Salem Hammoud al-Shafi, assistant director of the Mechanical Equipment Department and member of the committee; and Hamad Sultan al-Shahwani, head of the general control section at Doha Municipality and member of the committee, in addition to a number of representatives from the entities concerned at the Ministry of Interior, the MME said in a press statement.
On Saturday, the municipal authorities had announced that the campaign would be carried out in order to spot and remove abandoned vehicles and enforce Law No 18 of 2017 on Public Hygiene.
Al-Kuwari yesterday the committee removes all abandoned vehicles that spoil the ambiance of public places around the country, in particular those left near automobile workshops, and take them to the designated impound yard. A fine of QR1,000 is imposed on owners who come to retrieve their abandoned vehicles, and a sum of QR500 is also charged as the cost of towing the vehicle.
Al-Shafi said the campaign focuses on removing abandoned vehicles within the jurisdiction of Doha Municipality. He stressed that the practice of leaving behind a vehicle in this manner adversely affects the society as well as the general ambiance of public areas in the country. It also hampers the progress of development and plans for strategic projects.
He called on vehicle owners to co-operate with the authorities concerned to maintain the beauty of aesthetics of places around the country and abide by the public hygiene law and its regulations.
Al-Shahwani stressed that Doha Municipality regularly exerts efforts to spot and remove abandoned vehicles. A warning sticker is pasted on an abandoned vehicle to remove it within three days. If no action is taken by then, the municipality will remove the car and keep it in  the designated impound area.
Since is formation in 2013, the committee has removed 61,524 abandoned vehicles and impounded in the Al Mashaf and Mesaimeer yards. A new impound area has been allocated by the MME in the Al Mazrouah area of Umm Salal Municipality, which would be able to accommodate around 25,000- 30,000 abandoned vehicles. The site is expected to be operational soon.
Meanwhile, the MME also recently announced the qualification of scrap-handling companies to buy abandoned vehicles that are not fit for the road. These companies would dispose of such vehicles in a safe and proper manner.