Gulf News

Disabled worker to get 1m riyals


- BY BARBARA BIBBO’ Correspond­ent

In what is being described as the highest compensati­on paid to a Nepalese worker, a court ordered 1 million riyals (about Dh1 million) to be paid to a worker for an on-the-job injury, said Nepalese diplomats and press reports.

The highest compensati­on paid to a Nepalese worker before the latest incident was 500,000 riyals, Nepalese embassy officials told Gulf News.

They were commenting on a report published in the Peninsula newspaper yesterday on a court ruling.

Fall from pick-up

Ram Chandra, who was totally disabled after falling from a speeding pick-up in February last year, was awarded 1.02 million riyals, the highest compensati­on ever awarded to a Nepalese in an insurance claim here, the Peninsula said.

Chandra is currently undergoing treatment at Al Rumaila hospital where he is being artificial­ly fed.

The court ruled that the sum should be paid by the company covering the vehicle’s insurance.

The Pakistani driver was fined 6,000 riyals and his driving licence was suspended for six months.

The number of accidents, disputes and court cases involving Nepalese is on the rise since they became one of Qatar’s largest expatriate communitie­s.

According to figures provided by the Nepalese embassy, there are over 20,000 Nepalese workers in Qatar. Their number is rising, since Qatar has imposed quotas on other nationalit­ies but requires manpower for its booming constructi­on sector.

“We have a growing community, but also many problems due to abuses and exploitati­on. Sometimes we receive up to 20 people a day with different complaints,” a Nepalese diplomat told Gulf News.

According to figures provided by the diplomatic mission, 143 Nepalese died in traffic or workplace accidents in 2006. Ten committed suicide.

Since the beginning of this year seven Nepalese have died.

Unscrupulo­us agencies

They also fall victims to recruitmen­t agencies, like the recent case of a 29year-old, who paid an agent to obtain a job in Qatar with a company that did not exist.

Dhundi Raj Chaulagai waited for five days at the airport for someone to pick him up. He is currently living at the embassy waiting to be repatriate­d.

In another case a young Nepalese was stranded for over five years waiting for monetary compensati­on after he was left disabled in a road accident.

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