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Gen Al-Ali seeks to dispel expat fears – Indian delegation calls on traffic chief

local1KUWAIT: Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs Major General Abdul Fattah Al-Ali sought to dispel fears of expatriates by assuring them that foreigners in Kuwait can feel 'secure and safe' if they have valid residency and have no traffic violations or criminal offense records against them. Gen Al-Ali was talking to a delegation from a leading Indian socio-welfare organization - Kuwait Kerala Muslim Association (KKMA). The delegation headed by KKMA Chairman Sageer Trikarpur submitted a memorandum to Major Al-Ali listing the concerns of the expatriate community over the ongoing campaign against illegal residents and traffic violators.

The memorandum urged the authorities to be 'lenient and considerate' towards expatriates while enforcing new traffic regulations and arresting traffic violators. "As representative of a law-abiding community, we fully support the Kuwaiti authorities in the campaign against illegal residents or people involved in criminal activities. However, we are requesting your kind intervention to give humanitarian consideration to the arrested and avoid misuse of authority while implementing these rules," the memorandum said.

The delegation particularly brought the attention of the official to the issue of penalizing private car owners who travel in their cars with their friends, colleagues or relatives while going for work, shopping, prayers, hospitals, family visits, airport drops, etc. Responding to the concern, Ali said that it is not the case and that he would be happy to see cars full of passengers as it would reduce the number of cars on the road. Maj Ali also hailed the strong relations between Kuwait and India. He said Indians are practically present in all segments of the society in Kuwait and are known to be 'disciplined, hard working, talented and law-abiding.'

"You people have acquired a special space in Kuwait as a brilliant and the least problematic expatriate community who works for the overall development of Kuwait," Ali mentioned. At the same time, he underlined the importance of abiding by traffic rules and clarified that the current campaign is not targeted at any particular expatriate community in Kuwait. "It is a planned program based on studies to regulate our road traffic and make the roads safe for nationals and residents in Kuwait," he stated.

Ali informed the delegation that the Middle East region records the highest rate of road fatalities in the world despite having excellent roads and traffic infrastructure. "Today, the situation is quite alarming. The current campaign is aimed at minimizing the traffic accidents and the risks associated with it before it becomes acute and irreversible," he pointed out.

While thanking the ministry for implementing strict traffic rules for the sake of safety of drivers and passengers, the KKMA offered its full support to the authorities through awareness seminars and defensive driving programs for their community members. First of the series of seminars will be held on June 21 at Indian Community School, Salmiya in which Indian Ambassador Satish C Mehta and Maj Ali are expected to attend. KKMA Vice-chairmen Akbar Siddique, NA Muneer, President Abdul Fathah Thayyil, General Secretary K Basheer, organizing secretary Hamza Payyanur, working presidents A P Abdul Salam, Iqbal B M and Administrative secretary K C Rafeeque were the other members of the delegation.

By Sajeev K Peter, Staff Writer

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This article was published on 14/06/2013