Abandoned vehicles are a nuisance

By Ibne Ahmad
June 17, 2024
People look at a damaged vehicle, in the aftermath of floods following heavy rain. — Reuters/File

There has been no drive to clear Rawalpindi streets of abandoned vehicles, an issue that has caused nuisance across the city. They are rusting under the sun and rain. Who will seize these vehicles? Why don’t they auction them if they have proper registration?


“As part of this drive, the city administration should tow away abandoned vehicles to a dump yard and send notices to the vehicle’s registered owners asking them to claim them back within a month, failing which the vehicles would be auctioned,” says Zafar Hussain.

“Most of these abandoned vehicles are in such a bad condition that the auction money recovered is negligible. However, the purpose behind this exercise is not to earn revenue but to have clean and safe streets in Rawalpindi,” says Esa Taqi, a traffic police inspector.

“The rise in abandoned vehicles in the city’s network, especially on internal streets, takes up precious space and opens up scope for criminal activity. It also has adverse implications for citizens’ health, since many vehicles become breeding grounds for mosquitos,” says Dr. Riaz Naqvi.

“Why do people just dump their vehicles on the streets? Since there is no formal mechanism to handle an end-of-life vehicle, vehicles that are past their prime, being too old for use are dumped on the streets. This is equally true for vehicles that are rendered useless due to accidents or excessive repairs,” says Fazeelat Shabbir. “Investing further in vehicles that bring them no value is perceived as a waste of time and resources, and hence people prefer to just discard vehicles on streets rather than formally scrapping them. The latter calls for a long process and completion of various formalities,” says Tariq Ali.

“Citizens find it easier to dump vehicles on roads instead of formally selling them for scrap. Besides, prevailing informal restrictions on buying scrap cars also add to the number of cars being abandoned. Retaining and maintaining old vehicles could be a costly proposition thus leading people to dump them on the streets,” says Jazib Zaidi.

“Scrap dealers refuse to buy vehicles abandoned for fear of being accused of theft or criminal action by the police. There are instances when criminals steal vehicles to commit a crime and then choose to abandon them in a completely different suburb. This makes scrap dealers wary of buying abandoned vehicles, says Tazeem Hasan, a senior police officer who did not want to be quoted.

Farhad Naqvi, a scrap vehicle dealer says, “Those who deal in scrapped vehicles to eventually dismantle and sell off parts only check the Registration Certificate (RC) book to see if there are any outstanding vehicle loans. The identity proof of the owner is also important, as only an owner is authorized to sell a vehicle. Handling all the relevant paperwork formalities with the authorities is the owner’s prerogative, not anybody else’s.”