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Ghala residents seek ‘better’ plots
Fahad Al Mukrashi
August 21, 2013 , 10 : 02 am GST
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Public demand: The protestors were demanding that prime plots should be allocated to the local residents of the area. Photo — TIMES OF OMAN
Some 300 residents of the Ghala area in the wilayat of Bausher yesterday staged a protest against the distribution of 160 plots of land in Bausher wilayat to senior officers of the Royal Army. The residents were demanding that these plots be allocated to the local residents of the area.
The protest started in the premises of the wali's office at 7:30am and continued till 4:30pm.
The residents had protested in September last year against setting up of a cemetery at the entrance of the village and had demanded that the land marked for the purpose be distributed among the local people who had not been given any plots.
Yusuf Al Raqadi, one of the protestors, told the Times of Oman that the residents were shocked on learning that the plot meant for cemetery was allocated to senior army officers.
"It was assumed that the big plot of land earmarked earlier for the cemetery would be distributed among the residents of the village, who have the first right on it, instead of giving them land in distant areas, far away from their relatives," he said.
While the residents tried hard to convince the authorities, it proved to be of no avail.
On his part, Ibrahim Al Rwahi, the wali of Bausher, told the Times of Oman that Bausher was facing a scarcity of plots and most of the plots had already been distributed.
Al Rawahi said that a meeting was supposed to be held yesterday to discuss the issue of land in the wilayat of Bausher but officials were "taken by surprise" with the residents protesting inside the wali's office.
Al Rawahi added that they would spare no efforts to resolve the matter through a meeting with the governor of Muscat, members of the Majlis Al Shura and the residents.
It may be recalled that the authorities had allocated 240 land plots to the residents, but they refused to accept them.
According to the local residents, 577 people had already applied to the Ministry of Housing which had promised to provide them plots in Ghala.
The residents, meanwhile, will be meeting the governor of Muscat to discuss the situation and seek a definitive answer as they claim that the promises made by officials were not fulfilled.
The residents also allege that most of the Al Muna plots in Ghala — one of the most expensive areas in the capital — was distributed among the senior officials, thereby fuelling their anger as they were excluded from their own area.
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