Abandoned cars tagged as eyesores at Industrial Area
August 30 2014 01:19 AM
Cars gather dust and rust over a murky pool of water. PICTURE: Jayan Orma
Cars gather dust and rust over a murky pool of water. PICTURE: Jayan Orma

Peter Alagos

Residents and employees at the Doha Industrial Area have complained about the increasing number of abandoned cars that could be found in almost every stretch of road within the vicinity.

Most of the vehicles, parked outside various types of establishments, have been tagged as eyesores by people living or working along the Industrial Area, as well as visitors who are conducting business there.

An employee, who declined to give his name, told Gulf Times that the cars found in front of his workplace are up “for repair” — an explanation that has become common to establishment owners or their staff when asked about the condition of the vehicles parked along their shops.

While some of the vehicle or vehicles in question are said to be subject to repair, it could be observed that the car, truck, or bus had already been gathering dust for a long time.

“I’ve noticed that some of the vehicles I’ve seen here had been outside for many days, maybe even weeks or months... no one can really tell. But it is obvious that these vehicles are not for repair,” observed a Pakistani driver, who was running errands for an auto supplies shop.

Another truck driver, Efren Burgos, said his theory is that the vehicles were simply left by their owners, who may not have enough money to cover restoration expenses or if the car is beyond repair.

“I cannot really give a straight answer. All I can do is speculate,” said Burgos, who works in one of the large car manufacturing companies based at the Industrial Area.

One of the clients of Burgos’ company suggested that the abandoned cars can be sold for scrap metal or sent to recycling companies.

“In the Philippines, scrap metal is a lucrative business. You will seldom see abandoned vehicles there because we have a lot of junk shops and establishments that buy scrap metal. If the car is beyond repair, the shops can still make a profit by selling car parts or accessories,” he said.

He added that getting rid of abandoned vehicles could help improve the business climate of the Industrial Area with the availability of more parking areas.

“What discourages me from going to the Industrial Area is that it is very difficult to get a decent parking space near the establishment or office that I need to visit. These abandoned vehicles are not only eyesores but they also take up parking space for customers,” he said.


Call to set up industries to recycle abandoned vehicles

Experts have stressed the need for encouraging investors to set up industries that will recycle various components and parts of vehicles abandoned by their owners, local Arabic daily Arrayah has reported.

They point out that vehicles kept at yards in Umm Al Hol, Al Mashaf and Abu Hamour, as well as those abandoned in other parts of the country, are home to rodents, insects and stray animals. The problem can be addressed if these vehicles can be made to contribute to the economy by setting up factories that will recycle their components, they point out.

Experts as well as members of the Central Municipal Council have said the authorities concerned should work together to set up such industries, adding that technical, procedural and consultative assistance should be provided for this purpose, according to the report.

Meanwhile, a businessman has highlighted the importance of sustainability, saying the number of vehicles should be adequate for the smooth operation of these factories in the long run.

More than 1,000 abandoned vehicles are removed from streets and yards in different areas every month as they distort the urban landscape, hamper traffic flow and occupy parking spaces. The vehicles are taken to designated yards at Umm Al Hol, Al Mashaf and Abu Hamour.

However, as these are almost packed to capacity; another site is being developed to accommodate abandoned vehicles, the report states.



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