Unofficial carting services at the market.
Bahrain market plans golf buggies service
Manama, February 27, 2012
Shoppers in Bahrain visiting the Manama Central Market could soon have the option of being chauffeur driven around in golf buggies, said a senior municipal official.
A Bahraini businessman, who proposed the idea to the Manama Municipality, has been given initial approval for the project and is planning to set up a company to introduce the service.
However, the Manama Municipal Council has ordered a tender be issued to allow more businessmen to bid for the right to run the scheme, which would also involve helpers being introduced to help carry people's shopping bags.
Council and joint investment committee vice-chairman Mohammed Mansoor accused colleagues of unnecessarily delaying the project, which he said would help revolutionise services in the market.
"The market is seeing less shoppers than before because of the current political situation and difficult access due to closure of the former GCC (Pearl) roundabout area.
"Another problem is that the market requires a lot of walking from one building to another and everyone knows Bahrain's humid weather and heavy rains whenever it rains.
"That is why people prefer going to malls, shopping centres and complexes that are close and everything is assembled in one place.
"The businessman has agreed to form a specialised company to handle the service and the committee has given him initial approval for a contract, but the council decided to have the project tendered to allow more bidders."
He said such a service would help reduce the number of illegal workers being employed as helpers at the market and ensure that more Bahrainis were employed.
"The service will be provided at minimal price to shoppers and the businessman has agreed that most of his staff will be Bahrainis, whether on part-time or full-time basis," he noted.
"It will also mean that porters in the market will be registered and will have identification cards, which means that it will reduce the number of free visa workers, who will be afraid of getting caught," Mansoor said.
He hopes a final decision about the introduction of golf buggies could be made within months.
"We want the service to be operative before Ramadan (July) when business is at its peak and we have to take into consideration that whoever provides the service will have to make arrangements and they may take time, he added.-TradeArabia News Service