Labour cities in wilayats can solve two problems

Muscat, Sept 1 – The Ministry of Housing is working on identifying land that could be leased out to the private sector to develop residential complexes for workers in various wilayats of the Sultanate. There had been a concern on workers who are bachelors living as tenants in family residential areas and it had become even more so in the recent months. The labour community’s accommodation mainly depends on the rent as well as location of their work. Speaking to Observer, Saleem Hassan al Bulushi, Deputy Director General of Real Estate Development at the Ministry of Housing, said leasing of land to support the private sector real estate developers is one way that is being looked into.
Residents have been verbal in the social media about their concern on providing accommodation for the work force in residential areas. Amor al Matani, a PhD researcher on sustainability, said, “I think there should be a sense of accountability when it comes to social and environmental elements of sustainability. There should be dignity and respect for the human and be looked after well within the total nature of the project. For example if there is a project with number of labourers I think it is the contractor’s and project owner’s accountability and responsibility to look after the people. They should not go on their own and live in condition where their need is not fulfilled. I think the social need is not just to have a shelter on your head but also to have the element of care’’.
He added that the project owner and regulator must work together to provide decent accommodation as well as care. So if we were to take total meaning of care it also includes health perspective and the well-being of that individual. We should not judge the individual because we must understand his state of mind. The sponsor should ask the question, “Should I expose this individual who came as per my invitation to deliver a service. I think it is the basic principle of community care. It is not a privilege but it is a necessity that the community at large should take care and we as individuals who might be in the business sector must take that responsibility and not leave it to the community. The community can contribute by showing respect.
Observer spoke to four construction workers based at Rusayl Industrial Estate area. Karim Alam and Chandan Kumar are from India, while Shakur Rehman and Mohammed Rajab are from Bangladesh. They were taking a break from their work and we asked about their life.
“We cook on our own when we reach our residence in the evening. We prepare roti, rice, vegetables and fish. We purchase our groceries together and when we get our salary we share the expense,” explained Karim Alam. “We take turn to prepare a variety of food because we are from different countries. So everyone gets to taste their home food,” said Mohammed.
What do they do on holidays? “We play cricket, go to malls and visit places and make phone calls to family and friends.” And yes, Wi-Fi is very important for everyone so once again everyone contributes to have the service. Ask them if they have challenges they unanimously say, “We work with happiness. We work together like a family and our company also looks after us well and we get our salary regularly and most importantly we have safety measures and regulations at work’’.

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