DOHA: The current system of free allocation of land plots to nationals has drawn criticism from Central Municipal Council (CMC) members and citizens.
They have termed it as ambiguous, saying the system lacks transparency and clear criteria.
Councillor Mohammed Al Muslemani told Al Arab daily that the system is not clear and lacks transparency.
He said authorities should announce criteria, number of application received and plots distributed in different areas in newspapers for people’s benefit.
The process of allocation and distribution is also very slow, he said, adding the provision of civic amenities in various areas is taking a long time.
Al Muslemani said people are given land in areas which are undeveloped and lack facilities. Land allocation should be based on ‘first come first served basis’ which is not being observed. There is need for reconsidering ways of distribution.
“We have observed that the current system is ineffective because it lacks transparency. Due to nepotism, some people get large plots while others get small ones in areas where they do not want them.
“I urge the ministry to adopt a clear strategy to distribute land to eligible people and it should be announced in mainstream media,” he added.
Hassan Abbas, another CMC member, said for the past many years Al Wakra has been complaining about delay in distribution of plots.
Now the pressure is increasing because earlier people preferred plots in Doha and now there is no land available there. Demand for plots in Al Wakra has increased as it is in the vicinity of Doha and has developed infrastructure.
He said the current distribution by computer is not popular and is not preferred.
“We want the government to increase the number of plots for distribution and provide infrastructure facilities in concerned areas.
Jassim Al Maliki, Vice-Chairman of CMC, said one of the problems people are facing is a lack of infrastructure facilities which is the main cause of delay in the distribution of plots and is forcing people to refuse them.
He said there is no controversy over the size of plots because the Cabinet has specified 600sqm in Doha and 1,000sqm outside.
Ahmed Al Abbadi, a Qatari, asked: “How can someone be allotted land in Al Wakra when he has applied for it in Al Khor?”
He said applicants should be allotted plots in the areas where they live.
Al Abbadi said people can wait for infrastructure facilities but they should not be given plots in areas where they do not live or asked to move to areas, leaving their family behind.
Earlier land distribution was based on family or clans but now on individual applications, Al Arab added.