Indian embassy in Qatar is expected to be shifted from its present location in the Old Hilal area to the West Bay area soon, Gulf Times has reported citing sources.
The report did not give the exact date of relocation, but hinted that the mission will be shifted to the new premise near the West Bay Petrol Station in Onaiza sometime in the middle of this month.
Requirement for better facilities
During July 2015, the embassy had published newspaper advertisement that it is looking for a large and modern premises with better facilities.
The prime requirement was for a large and modern building with nearby parking for nearly 100 cars and inside parking for 10 cars.
Other specifications include compound with garden, large reception area after main entrance and large hall with separate entrance for visitors to Consular and Labour Sections.
Sufficient office space, conference room as well as restrooms in public and office areas were also part of the requirements.
It is not known if the new premise in West Bay meets these conditions.
Since there is no dedicated parking facility, visitors have to park in front of nearby residences and walk to the embassy.
Due to lack of enough seating arrangements, visitors to the embassy have to reach much earlier than the opening time and queue up in front of the building.
Tender invited for shifting
On April 21, the Embassy had put up a tender notice on its website, inviting bids for shifting of embassy assets.
The scope included shifting of all furniture items including tables, chairs, cupboards, official documents, air conditioners and electrical fittings etc to Villa Nos. 86 & 90, Street No. 941-Al Eithra Street, Zone 63, Onaiza.
The last date to submit sealed tenders was May 1.
Mixed reaction from Indian community
Members of the Indian expatriate community have often aired their preference for the embassy to be located somewhere in the city, facilitating easy access to all.
However a number of community members have expressed concerns that West Bay area faces heavy traffic, especially during morning hours.
Lack of public transport and not enough parking facilities in the area are also matters of concern.
Bharatiya Pravasi Kalyan Parishad, a community association in Doha, had even sent a petition to Sushma Swaraj, India’s Minister for External Affairs highlighting the potential inconveniences of moving to West Bay.
On the other hand, some of the community leaders said it was desirable that the embassy maintained a facility within the city to cater to the needs of the large Indian workforce and consular services.
The West Bay area is also home to most of the foreign embassies in State of Qatar.