Abu Dhabi's Mawaqif under fire over fines

Published On: 
Mon, 28/05/2012 - 18:03
Reported by: 
Emirates 24/7
Source: 
Emirates 24/7

Abu Dhabi-based Mawaqif company created a few years ago to tackle nagging parking problems in the capital has come under public fire, with many car owners accusing it of seeking money rather than organization.

But company officials denied such charges and said Mawaqif inspectors have instructions not to be tolerant towards any parking offences.

“I think Mawaqif only made the problem worse,” a reader identified as Nassim said in a comment to Mawaqif policy sent to Emirat Alyoum newspaper.

“We are all convinced now that Mawaqif’s main target is to make money rather than organize parking for cars,” said another reader, Abu Hashim.

Mawaqif was created by the Department of Transport nearly five years ago to supervise an ambitious parking project following public complaints about space shortages and violations by some drivers.

The company has so far set up more than 50,000 paid-parking spaces and thousands of other lots are to be assigned in other areas of the city.

Mawaqif, whose inspectors are provided by Saed traffic police in Abu Dhabi, has set Dh500 fine for cars parked in the wrong place, triggering criticism from drivers that the fine is too high.

“Mawaqif is exaggerating when it imposes Dh500 fine for illegal parking…they should fear God because this sum is more than a 10th of the employee’s salary…where is the logic in this if they do not target money…to take Dh500 from some one who could forget to pay Dhtwo for parking is absurd…why not Dh50?……you are underestimating the people’s reactions,” said Abu Firas.

“With all due to respect to Mawaqif and Saed, I believe they are after money not finding solutions to the parking problem….,” said an unnamed reader.

A Saudi man who was visiting Abu Dhabi and rented a car said he was fined Dh500 although he did not know the parking rules in the capital.

“I tried to complain to Mawaqif and told them that I am a tourist who does not know the rules…but they said the law is the law and that I have to pay…I had no choice but to pay and I pray that God will not forgive them.”

Emirat Alyoum quoted Saed’s CEO Ibrahim Raml as saying Mawaqif is just enforcing the law and that its inspectors can not accept any excuses.

“These inspectors are men of law and have orders to enforce the rules without any hesitation or exception…they are just doing their job which is intended to ensure organized and correct parking ways in the city.”

He dismissed public claims that the company’s nearly 580 inspectors make any arbitrary or random penalties.

“This is proved by the fact that the number of complaints about the fines is relatively small…we also give a chance to all those who commit offences to complain at the grievances section if they feel they feel the fine is arbitrary.”

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