Thousands of expatriate workers evicted in Qatar's capital ahead of World Cup

News Network
October 29, 2022

Doha.jpg

Doha, Oct 29: Qatar has emptied apartment blocks housing thousands of foreign workers in the centre of the capital Doha where visiting soccer fans will stay during the World Cup, workers who were evicted from their homes told Reuters.

They said more than a dozen buildings had been evacuated and shut down by authorities, forcing the mainly Asian and African workers to seek what shelter they could - including bedding down on the pavement outside one of their former homes.

The move comes less than four weeks before the Nov. 20 start of the global soccer tournament which has drawn intense international scrutiny of Qatar's treatment of foreign workers and its restrictive social laws.

At one building which residents said housed 1,200 people in Doha's Al Mansoura district, authorities told people at about 8 pm on Wednesday they had just two hours to leave.

Municipal officials returned around 10.30 pm, forced everyone out and locked the doors to the building, they said. Some men had not been able to return in time to collect their belongings.

"We don't have anywhere to go," one man told Reuters the next day as he prepared to sleep out for a second night with around 10 other men, some of them shirtless in the autumn heat and humidity of the Gulf Arab state.

He, and most other workers who spoke to Reuters, declined to give their names or personal details for fear of reprisals from the authorities or employers.

Nearby, five men were loading a mattress and a small fridge into the back of a pickup truck. They said they had found a room in Sumaysimah, about 40 km (25 miles) north of Doha.

A Qatari government official said the evictions are unrelated to the World Cup and were designed "in line with ongoing comprehensive and long-term plans to re-organise areas of Doha."

"All have since been rehoused in safe and appropriate accommodation," the official said, adding that requests to vacate "would have been conducted with proper notice."

World soccer's governing body FIFA did not respond to a request for comment and Qatar's World Cup organisers directed inquiries to the government.

"Deliberate ghetto-isation"

Around 85% of Qatar's three million population are foreign workers. Many of those evicted work as drivers, day labourers or have contracts with companies but are responsible for their own accommodation - unlike those working for major construction firms who live in camps housing tens of thousands of people.

One worker said the evictions targeted single men, while foreign workers with families were unaffected.

A Reuters reporter saw more than a dozen buildings where residents said people had been evicted. Some buildings had their electricity switched off.

Most were in neighbourhoods where the government has rented buildings for World Cup fan accommodation. The organisers' website lists buildings in Al Mansoura and other districts where flats are advertised for between $240 and $426 per night.

The Qatari official said municipal authorities have been enforcing a 2010 Qatari law which prohibits "workers' camps within family residential areas" - a designation encompassing most of central Doha - and gives them the power to move people out.

Some of the evicted workers said they hoped to find places to live amid purpose-built workers' accommodation in and around the industrial zone on Doha's southwestern outskirts or in outlying cities, a long commute from their jobs.

The evictions "keep Qatar's glitzy and wealthy facade in place without publicly acknowledging the cheap labour that makes it possible," said Vani Saraswathi, Director of Projects at Migrant-Rights.org, which campaigns for foreign workers in the Middle East.

"This is deliberate ghetto-isation at the best of times. But evictions with barely any notice are inhumane beyond comprehension."

Some workers said they had experienced serial evictions.

One said he was forced to change buildings in Al Mansoura at the end of September, only to be moved on 11 days later with no prior notice, along with some 400 others. "In one minute, we had to move," he said.

Mohammed, a driver from Bangladesh, said he had lived in the same neighbourhood for 14 years until Wednesday, when the municipality told him he had 48 hours to leave the villa he shared with 38 other people.

He said labourers who built up the infrastructure for Qatar to host the World Cup were being pushed aside as the tournament approaches.

"Who made the stadiums? Who made the roads? Who made everything? Bengalis, Pakistanis. People like us. Now they are making us all go outside." 

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
November 14,2022

surathkal.jpg

Mangaluru, Nov 14: Amidst ongoing protest against the “unfair” toll collection at Surathkal toll plaza, the central government has finally yielded to people’s demanded. However, the government has decided to collect an additional user fee at the Hejamadi toll plaza.

Dakshina Kannada MP and Karnataka BJP president Nalin Kumar Kateel, in a tweet announced today that toll collection has stopped at Surathkal toll gate.

He thanked Minister of Road Transport and Highways Nitin Gadkari and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. “The union minister had assured earlier that the toll gate will be closed. However the technical aspect is implemented now,” he tweeted. 

The Gazette notification dated November 11, 2022 read: “Now, in order to collect user fee for 4-lane Surathkal Nantoor section and 1.60 Km of bypass length from Nantoor towards Padil (total length 18.362 km) at Hejamadi toll plaza… the Concessionaire (i.e. Navayuga Udupi Tollway Pvt Ltd) shall collect additional user fee for the use of said section from Km 358.000 to Km 375.300 of National Highway No. 17 (New Highway No.66) (Surathakal Nantoor section) and 1.60 Km of bypass length from Nantoor towards Padil.”

Earlier, Mr Kateel had promised to close of the Surathkal toll gate by November 7. As the deadline crossed, the Surathkal Toll gate Horata Samiti had intensified the protest.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
November 18,2022

drugs.jpg

Mangaluru, Nov 18: The sleuths attached to the central crime branch of Mangaluru City Police have seized over 132 kg of ganja worth Rs 39.15 lakh meant to be distributed in Mangaluru, Bengaluru and Kerala.

The ganja shipment from Visakhapatnam was intercepted near Kayargoli village in Mudipu Kurnadu gram panchayat limits, on the city's outskirts, by CCB police team led by Inspector Mahesh Prasad on Thursday evening. 

"Two youths, Adul Khader Haris (31) and Rameez alias Raaz, were arrested,” Mangaluru Commissioner of Police N Shashikumar told mediapersons at his chambers on Friday.

CCB police also seized two cellphones, three 'talwars' and Rs 2,180 in cash. The duo were well prepared to assault police or anyone who attempted to intercept the vehicle, Commissioner Shashikumar said. “During preliminary interrogation, the men had confessed to transporting ganja from Visakhapatnam to be distributed in Mangaluru, Kerala and Bengaluru,” the Commissioner said. 

Rameez from Thoudugoli cross in Naringana village in Bantwal taluk has as many as six cases against him, including for the consumption of ganja, drug peddling, assault and attempt to murder, registered in Konaje, Ullal and Mangaluru North police stations. 

Abdul Harish from Madangal Katta in Miyapadavu in Manjeshwara in Kerala has four cases against him, including drug peddling, consumption, assault and two murder attempt cases, registered in Ullal and Manjeshwar police stations. 

A case was registered in CEN police station and police are investigating. In 2020, 137 kg of ganja was seized by the CCB police.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.
News Network
November 23,2022

shooting.jpg

A gunman shot and killed multiple people in a Walmart store late Tuesday (November 22) in the US state of Virginia, police and city officials said, adding that the shooter too is dead.

"We were able to find multiple fatalities and multiple injured parties," Chesapeake Police Department officer Leo Kosinski told reporters at the scene, saying rapid response officers entered the store "immediately" as they arrived.

"We believe it is a single shooter and that single shooter is deceased at this time," he added.

The City of Chesapeake also said on Twitter that police did "confirm an active shooter incident with fatalities at the Walmart on Sam's Circle.

"Our first responders are well-trained and prepared to respond; please give them space to do so," it added.

News footage showed a major police presence at the scene, with Kosinski saying several officers and investigators were combing through the store and securing the area.

The exact number of fatalities remained unclear, but CBS affiliate WUSA said police said they believed no more than 10 people were killed.

In a statement, Walmart said it was "shocked" by the mass shooting at its store.

"We are shocked at this tragic event at our Chesapeake, Virginia store. We're praying for those impacted, the community and our associates. We're working closely with law enforcement, and we are focused on supporting our associates," the company said on Twitter. 

Virginia state Senator Louise Lucas, who represents the region, said she was "absolutely heartbroken that America's latest mass shooting took place in a Walmart in my district in Chesapeake, Virginia tonight."

"I will not rest until we find the solutions to end this gun violence epidemic in our country that has taken so many lives," she said on Twitter.

Comments

Add new comment

  • Coastaldigest.com reserves the right to delete or block any comments.
  • Coastaldigset.com is not responsible for its readers’ comments.
  • Comments that are abusive, incendiary or irrelevant are strictly prohibited.
  • Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name to avoid reject.