by Hana Namrouqa | Dec 21, 2014

AMMAN — More than 4,000 abandoned vehicles have been removed from Amman’s streets since 2011 in an ongoing effort to improve the appearance and cleanliness of the capital, the Greater Amman Municipality (GAM) said on Sunday.

A total of 4,500 abandoned vehicles have been removed by their owners after receiving a warning, while GAM removed 293 vehicles, 69 of which were retrieved by their owners after paying fees, said Mutaz Zaghlawan, head of the technical control office at GAM’s construction monitoring department.

“Since the start of this year, 850 vehicles have been removed by their owners, while GAM removed 30 cars, 15 of which have been retrieved by their owners,” Zaghlawan told The Jordan Times over the phone.

GAM launched the campaign to rid the capital of rusty vehicles that were posing health hazards on the streets of Amman in 2011, the official said.

“There will always be abandoned vehicles parked in the streets and empty lots. Therefore, the campaign was turned into a permanent directorate in GAM in 2012,” he added.

The capital’s main streets are 90 per cent free of abandoned vehicles at present, according to Zaghlawan, who said that more cars are found on backstreets and in empty lots.

In the clean-up campaign, implemented in cooperation with the Central Traffic Department, GAM teams locate abandoned vehicles and notify their owners that they need to remove them.

They mark vehicles with stickers informing their owners to remove them within a 14-day period before they are towed away.

If the owners do not comply, the abandoned vehicles are towed to a six-dunum impound lot near the ring road, according to GAM.

Owners can retrieve their impounded vehicles after paying fees for transport as well as fees for each day their car was impounded, depending on the size of the vehicle, Zaghlawan noted.

People often abandon their cars because they are wrecked after a road accident, when their licence has expired or if they become too old to function, according to GAM.

Municipality teams conduct twice-weekly inspection rounds or following reports from residents, according to GAM, which urged the public to call on 06/5687112 or 0798166816 to report sighting any abandoned car.