DOHA: The Central Municipal Council (CMC) has recommended to the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning to conduct a feasibility study on allotting residential space to those citizens who moved from villages and outer areas to Doha to encourage them to go back to their original localities.
The proposal, given in a report by CMC’s Services Committee aims to reduce the crowding in the city which has been putting pressure on public services and facilities. The Civic Council had earlier proposed to develop markets and infrastructure facilities in outer areas to prevent the increasing influx of people from villages to the cities. Recently, the Ministry had announced plans to build Al Furjan stores in different parts of the country, especially in outer areas, in an apparent move to address this issue.
The Services Committee has pointed out that many citizens as well as expatriates have left the villages to settle in Doha due to the shortage or unavailability of basic services and facilities there. Many citizens would be happy to go back if the government allots them sufficient plots of land to build houses, supported with other amenities.
CMC demanded the Ministry to quickly develop the outer areas with necessary services and facilities and called on private companies to invest in development projects in such areas.
It also recommended that the Supreme Council of Health provide the required health services in these areas like hospitals, clinics and pharmacies and called on the Supreme Education Council to open more schools, especially in the north. The proposal was originally made by Mubarak Al Rashid, CMC member representing Al Ghuwariya area in the north. The CMC then asked its services committee to prepare a detailed report.
The services committee in its report has highlighted a number of factors that force the citizens to move from villages to the cities. Most of the development projects as well as entertainment venues are centred in Doha and its outskirts.
There is also the lack of job opportunities in outer areas because very few companies and establishments are operating there. This adds to the shortage of healthcare and education facilities. For instance, there is only one hospital in the north — in Al Khor — which is far away from Al Shamal and Al Dakhira.
There are few Independent schools but no international schools or foreign language schools. Markets and shopping complexes are also rare and food items, fruits and vegetables are not sufficiently available and the prices are higher compared to Doha.