By Ramesh Mathew/Staff Reporter
Low-income “single” workers living in the Industrial Area have sought better public transport access to places where their countries’ embassies are located, especially in the morning, it is learnt.
Workers are often seen visiting their diplomatic missions, particularly those of Asian countries with a high population of expatriates here, in large numbers for consular and other services. However, reaching the embassies is often not easy for them due to the unavailability of adequate and direct bus services, they point out.
The workers have urged Mowasalat to consider their request for more bus services to areas where such embassies are located.
Explaining the difficulties they face in reaching embassies on time to submit (in the morning) and collect (mostly afternoon or later) documents, a south Asian expatriate at the new Labour City said: “Most of the times we are forced to take shared taxis from the Asian Town due to the infrequent bus services from the area.”
Some workers point out that they have to change buses or walk a considerably distance to reach the embassies of countries like India, Sri Lanka and Nepal from the Industrial Area, which are visited by a large number of expatriates on a regular basis.
“In the absence of a direct service from our place, we need to take at least two buses to reach the embassy,” said a Nepalese cleaning worker.
As of now, many workers have to travel to Doha Bus Station or its vicinity to catch onward buses to such embassies, it is understood.
The demand for direct and adequate bus services to embassy areas comes at a time when some of the circular services (301C and 304C) operated from the Karwa training centre area have reportedly drawn a “poor response” from commuters.
Workers feel there will be better public patronage for these services if they are planned and operated in a better way, covering the areas where the embassies are located.
There is a feeling among some bus users that the recently introduced services have not benefited too many people due to improper route planning. If the routes include areas lying in the vicinity of embassies, especially in the morning, then more people may use these buses, the commuters argue.
With the Sri Lankan embassy announcing its relocation to the Old Airport area in January, some workers hailing from the south Asian country have urged the authorities concerned to reroute a circular service currently passing through F-Ring Road and Najma Street through the area where the new mission is located.
The service can also reach the neighbourhood of the Indian embassy in Al Hilal if properly routed, feel some other workers.
Similarly, requests have also come from passengers to extend the route of bus number 12 to the area surrounding the newly opened workers’ clinic in Mesaimeer, at least on weekdays.
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