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Posted On: 11 June 2009 12:12 pm
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Citizens want issue of single workers in residential areas resolved soon

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A former member of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) yesterday said he welcomed the attention the State Cabinet has paid to the “long-standing” issue of low-income single workers being housed “en masse” in residential areas. Ahmed Jassem Al Muftah told this newspaper that reports of the Cabinet having taken an “appropriate decision” on the above issue yesterday were a welcome development but added that he and his fellow citizens would like to see some action being taken soon. “The intermingling of single workers in residential areas is causing a lot of social problems, especially in Al Wakra and Al Murra, as companies continue to house their workers in large numbers in these localities because they are relatively closer to the Industrial Area,” said Al Muftah. The CMC, he pointed out, had been at the forefront in taking up this issue as Qatari society did not accept single people mingling with families in residential areas. “We in the CMC raised this issue right after the first body was elected in early 1999.” Resolutions were passed and referred to the authorities concerned but since hectic development activity was taking place in the country and more and more workers were pouring in, the issue was not given much attention, he said. It is not only causing a cultural shock to locals, but is also posing a security threat because Qataris do not usually lock up their main entrance doors. “Our traditions do not allow even fellow Qatari single people to live alone in areas inhabited largely by families,” Al Muftah said. Al Murra, according to him, is an old township, but over the years Qatari families have moved out. Yet there are many families still living there. He said if some single workers live in a rented house in a residential area it was tolerable but the problem was that companies tended to house 100 to 150 workers in a single house in these localities. The authorities, for instance, ordered fishing boats to be anchored in Al Wakra, not the Corniche any more, so “we now have 300 boats along the coast there and let’s say if one boat on average has seven fishermen, the population of these menial workers must have suddenly jumped to more than 2,000 almost overnight, said Al Muftah. “It’s indeed a problem and it must be fixed,” said the former CMC member. So what about apartment buildings? If you bought an apartment, built a house, or own a land, you can't live in it?