By Ayman Adly/Staff Reporter
More safety measures should be introduced for the tourist boats (dhows) operating from Doha Corniche, the Central Municipal Council (CMC) recommended yesterday.
The Ministry of Transport and Communication (MoTC) should consider inspecting such boats to ensure that the necessary safety and security standards are in place, in addition to its validity for tourist use.
The MoTC should also study the possibility of ensuring that these boats use low-noise electricity generators for the convenience of the customers. In addition, the maximum passenger capacity of each boat should be clearly defined.
In the meantime, the council asked Qatar Tourism Authority (QTA) to tighten its control on these boats and conduct more regular inspection to ensure their safety and security. In particular, the boat should have enough life-jackets to cover the maximum numbers of passengers allowed on board.
Children under 12 years should wear such jackets throughout the duration of the trip for their safety.
QTA should also insure that each tourist boat has a plate indicating the maximum passenger capacity and the safety and security instructions. High standards should be adopted for the boat and its lighting system.
The route of each boat at the sea should be defined clearly in accordance of the category of its license. Each boat should have on board the basic safety gear and equipment, including fire extinguishers, and first-aid kits.
Similarly, each boat should be equipped with safe boarding and docking facilities for the convenience of the passengers.
The council earlier addressed the issue based on the complaints of some residents that these boats lack a considerable number of the necessary safety features that should be otherwise an essential part of their equipment.
Also, some complained that many of these boats are not in a good shape needed to promote tourism in the country.
Accordingly, the council discussed the issue with the parties concerned and issued these recommendations aiming at aiming at boosting both safety and a good outlook.
The council reiterated yesterday its demands to allow Qataris to add a third floor to their two-storey residential villas to address the issue of shortage in residential units as population is growing fast.
However, the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME) again rejected the demand as it would reflect negatively on the infrastructure and basic services of the country, in addition to the potential overload on traffic and the various service facilities such as school, health centres and shopping centres.
The MME stressed that a new comprehensive urban develop plan is being prepared to address all the involved issues based on the real needs and potential size of the population.
Yet, the council saw that such response is not sufficient and asked that a further detailed study be conducted about the issue and the MME should reconsider its decision in the light of the current needs of the inhabitants.
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