More than 1,600 labour accommodations have been found violating laws concerning overcrowding, a senior minister has revealed.

Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf said notifications had been sent to 1,049 of the 1,604 labour camps inspected to rectify their situations.

“Over the past six months, a team was set up with representation from all the four governorates to check labour accommodations for violations,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“The team checked whether health and safety procedures at these places were in accordance with laws of the Health Ministry, Civil Defence and Electricity and Water Authority.

“A total of 1,604 labour accommodations were found to be in violation.

“We then notified 65 per cent of those violators and we also informed more than 200 owners to fix the violations according to the law.”

Ministry Under-Secretary Shaikh Mohammed bin Ahmed Al Khalifa said that owners have 30 days, from the date they are notified, to correct their violations.

“Owners who don’t rectify their situations within 30 days of being notified will have to face legal consequences,” he said.

“A total of 206 labour accommodations are currently under the process of correcting their violations.

“Seventy have already fixed their violations and 49 accommodations have been referred for legal action.”

Meanwhile, a veteran councillor has urged owners of all labour accommodations to abide by the rules to help protect the safety of the labourers.

Muharraq Municipal Council chairman Ghazi Al Murbati also requested the ministry to find solutions and punish the violators.

He also urged swift action against the offenders.

He said abiding by safety requirements at labour camps and reducing the density of expatriates will help protect their health from the coronavirus disease.

“We are at a critical time and the labour accommodation owners should abide by the law,” he said in a statement yesterday.

“Some owners cramp the poor labourers together and sometimes they put eight workers in one small room together.”

The GDN reported on Friday that Interior Minister General Shaikh Rashid bin Abdulla Al Khalifa has stressed His Majesty King Hamad’s keenness to ensure the safety of all expatriates in Bahrain.

He underlined Bahrain’s efforts to ensure compliance with precautionary measures against the coronavirus.

The minister stressed the need to relocate expatriate labourers to alternative accommodations to avert infections.

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