Abandoned and unused trucks and cars in residential areas across Bahrain are to be removed with immediate effect.
This was revealed by parliament’s public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman Jamal Dawood, who told the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication, that his committee will work with the Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry and Interior Ministry to have all reported vehicles towed.
It comes amid numerous complaints from the public that vehicles, estimated to be in their hundreds, are being abandoned on empty plots of land, near homes and on the street.
Fears have even been voiced that the unattended vehicles could pose a security threat and be used for terrorism, while some residents are worried for their children’s safety around the abandoned vehicles.
“These vehicles, that are left unused for months, will have to be removed immediately because of the dangers they pose to neighbourhoods, whether they have valid registrations with the General Directorate of Traffic or not,” said Dawood.
“Complaints have been made to us that these vehicles are being stolen for terrorist acts, while others say that they have been turned into a gathering place for criminals who use it for illegal and immoral acts.”
He said the vehicles would be removed as soon as possible, with the government giving a week’s notice to those with valid number plates before they were towed.
“Those with valid number plates could see the owner foot the bill of removal, while those that have been abandoned will have to be removed at the government’s expense,” said Dawood.
“In all cases we want neighbourhoods cleared of them.”
Meanwhile, Northern Municipal Council member Fatema Al Qatari told the GDN that several vehicles had already been reported at sites across the Northern Governorate.
“Our biggest problem is with abandoned construction vehicles such as trucks, cranes and low loaders, which are taking up space within neighbourhoods mainly in Al Qaraya, Bani Jamra and Duraz,” she said.
“Small vehicles can be cleared within a month – their presence is problematic but they are easier to manage, considering that no special equipment is needed to remove them.
“For heavy vehicles, special contractors have to be brought in by the Interior Ministry, which takes time and costs a lot of money.
“It is not about expenses – it is about protecting our community and no one wants to see their children attacked, abducted or raped.