The Ministry of Awqaf (Endowment) and Islamic Affairs (Awqaf) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Interior (MoI) to prevent the misuse of parking lots outside mosques.
Under the agreement, steps will be taken to ensure that the parking lots of mosques are used by people only during prayer time and not beyond that, a statement issued by Awqaf on Tuesday said.
The MoU was signed by Brigadier Mohamed Saad al-Kharji, director of MoI's Traffic Department, and Mohamed bin Hamad al-Kuwari, director of the Awqaf Mosques Department, in the presence of Lieutenant Mohamed Radi al-Hajri, director of the Traffic Awareness Department.
An awareness campaign will be conducted over six months to educate the public about the issue, following which violations will be registered against vehicles found parked in such places outside prayer times.
"The signing of this MoU is part of the co-operation and co-ordination with Awqaf to preserve the sanctity of mosques by banning the wrong use of their parking lots, which have been provided to make the process of performing rituals smoother for those who go there for prayers," said Brigadier al-Kharji, stressing that the practice of keeping cars at mosques' parking lots outside prayer times was unacceptable and a violation of the law.
He explained that the public would be duly informed over a six-month period and urged not to use such parking lots beyond prayer times. "Sermons at mosques will also focus on the issue. Other means, such as posters and advertisements, will be used to raise awareness on the matter."
Al-Kuwari said that some people used the parking lots outside mosques to keep their vehicles when they went on vacation. "This is not only an aesthetically questionable practice, but also one that denies mosque visitors their right to easily-accessible parking."
Due to the acute shortage of parking slots in Qatar, motorists often leave their vehicles at available spaces, including pavements, and in several places vehicles can be seen parked right on roads, particularly in busy areas like West Bay.
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