Protest over housing plan By RASHA AL QAHTANI Published: 25th February 2008

MORE than 1,000 families yesterday pledged to continue protesting outside a vacant housing project in Nuwaidrat until it is "justly" allocated.

They have erected three tents near the completed but vacant project, where their protest continues for the fifth day today.

The families are demanding that the new government housing project be allocated to residents of Nuwaidrat, Ma'ameer, Eker and Sanad.

They claim that it has been promised to a group of MPs for people in their constituencies, which they say lie outside their four villages.

The alleged move followed a call for a share in the project from MPs Abdulatif Al Shaikh, Salah Ali, Jassim Al Saeedi and Abdulhalim Murad.

The families claim they were promised that 50 per cent of the project would be allocated to Nuwaidrat residents and the remainder to the other three villages.

Housing Civil Committee representative Abdulkhaliq Ebrahim Qambar said yesterday that they learnt only half of the project would go to the four villages, while the other half would be allocated to other constituencies.

"This project has been implemented in many parts of the country and it has followed the same procedure, where 50pc goes to the village it is being built in and the other 50pc goes to neighbouring villages in the same constituency," he said.

"We are only asking for our rights and we have sent a petition disapproving the new move, which we sent to the Royal Court."

Mr Qambar said they will continue to protest until their demands are met.

"We have a licence from the Interior Ministry legalising our protest and we were allowed to set up our tents," he said. "We even added a third tent as the number of protesters increased and we had to accommodate all of them."

Mr Qambar said this was the first government housing project they have been given.

"But we are having a tough time for something that is rightfully ours," he said.

MP Dr Abdali Mohammed Hassan, who represents Nuwaidrat, said that the project was meant for its residents and the neighbouring villages.

"It is called Nuwaidrat Government Housing and the Housing Ministry should follow the law accordingly," he said.

"I am acting as a link between the residents and the ministry so that their voices are heard."

The Housing Ministry and Mr Al Shaikh, Mr Ali, Mr Al Saeedi and Mr Murad were not available for comment yesterday.


© Gulf Daily News