Over 100 illegals held in Jeddah
Police have arrested more than 100 violators of labor and residency regulations in raids conducted under an overpass in Jeddah in recent days, Jeddah police spokesman Lt. Col. Nawaf Al-Bouq told Arab News on Monday.
“Daily raids are being conducted to uncover the violators of labor and residency regulations in different parts in the city. Police arrested more than 100 such violators below the Sitteen Bridge alone, which is one of the largest hideouts of illegal workers in the city,” Al-Bouq said.
Khaled Barei, an illegal worker himself, wondered what would happen if a fire accident were to take place under the bridge where a number of cars are always parked or dumped and where many illegal workers have established a refuge from police. He added that a number of illegals were working as car washers under the bridge.
Spokesman for Civil Defense in the Makkah Province Col. Saeed Serhan said government departments such as the traffic police, city officials and municipality workers are responsible for the current state of the overpass. “The Civil Defense comes to the picture only when it receives an accident report from the Operations Center. Then it strives to reach the location in coordination with the traffic police who are responsible for providing Civil Defense personnel unhindered access to the site,” he said.
Spokesman for the Jeddah municipality Muhammad Al-Boqami said the responsibility of the municipality is limited to removing cars parked illegally below the overpass. “The municipality plans to use space below overpasses at 18 locations as parking lots to generate income.The viability study and forthcoming management of the project has been handed to the Jeddah Urban Development Company,” he said.
Member of the Jeddah Municipal Council Bassam Akhdar attributed the neglected state of the space under overpasses to a lack of coordination between various government departments. “We at the Municipal Council do not spare any effort in discussing with various officials about issues related to the citizens and expatriates and to strengthen the development in the governorate,” he said.