Embassy ‘unable’ to provide MRP in time
May 21, 2014-
Acquiring the Machine Readable Passport (MRP) has become a hassle for migrant workers as the Nepali Embassy in Qatar has failed to distribute the same in a timely manner.
“I have applied for my passport three times but to no avail,” complained Ram Sulochan Mandal, hailing from Mohattari. “I have been to the embassy thrice in the past four months,” he said, adding that his friend Jogbari Dari had to wait for almost a year to acquire his passport from the embassy last year.
The process of acquiring the passport is usually delayed and people seeking the MRPs are instructed to contact the embassy after five months.
However, the MRP in general does not arrive within the stipulated period and the workers are compelled to file another application, said Puny Prasad Rimal from Tehrathum. “Upon asking about the delay with the concerned authority, we are fed a pre-designed speech,” he said.
Moreover, the embassy charges migrant workers 300 Riyals (Rs 8,000) in order to re-apply. “For workers like us 300 Riyals is half month’s pay and as we have filed the application thrice, we have lost 900 Riyals (Rs 24,000),” Dari said. The embassy has been issuing hand written passports temporarily after charging 80 Riyals (around Rs 2,000) with a validity of six months.
Even then the migrant workers are not free of hassle as they have to submit both original and duplicate copy of the citizenship certificate. Hence, aspiring migrant workers hailing from remote areas of Nepal have been deprived from filing an application for MRP.
Some have even had to leave their jobs and fly back home with travel documents. “Who would think it would be necessary to carry the citizenship certificate while flying abroad?” said Ram Budha from Humla, adding that as he did not have the necessary documents and had no one to send them to Qatar, he had to return home.
Migrant workers said they have victimised as the embassy, instead of facilitating them, has adopted a tough policy. “By the time I reached the Embassy at 10am, the tokens were already finished,” said Baburam Karki of Dhading, who had travelled approximately 100 kilometres from Umsed. “Such system has really troubled us despite the fact that we have to make up various excuses to take a break from the company and our two days of earning is spent on the taxi fare,” Karki said.
Acting Nepali Ambassador to Qatar Ganesh Dhakal, however, said that they issued the token system after the number of migrant workers reaching the embassy increased. “As we are short-staffed, we can only handle 400 cases a day, hence we had to issue the token system to sort things systematically,” Dhakal said.
Admitting that the present infrastructure at the embassy could not hold the pressure of service seekers and that some of them even fall unconscious, Khanal said they have already corresponded to the government about the matter.
Published: 22-05-2014 09:34