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Businessmen want GDCD to outline safety standards.

Qatar Chamber (QC) has conducted a comprehensive survey of the difficulties

that businessmen face while dealing with the safety requirements and standards of the General Directorate of Civil Defence (GDCD). The difficulties included contradictions with Qatar General Electricity and Water Corporation in terms of the safety requirements, which GDCD said it had resolved through a joint committee of Kahram and GDCD prevention department. The businessmen also complained that the GDCD had no clear standards for safety, to which the latter responded that it applied the National Fire Protection Association system, which determines the required safety systems according to the type of risk involved. Other complaints included GDCD's demand for new equipment and installations at the time of project handover. The expensive equipment demanded were mostly from Europe and America, they claimed. However, GDCD pointed out that such claims were unfounded as they never specified the names of countries for safety equipment. At present, it added, there are 423 companies approved by GDCD to supply such equipment. These firms either import or manufacture the equipment. QC organised the first consultative meeting on Sunday between businessmen and GDCD officials to improve communication between the two parties on the standard requirements for safety and security stipulated by GDCD and resolve related issues. The meeting was attended by a large number of businessmen and QC officials, including QC chairman Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim bin Mohamed al-Thani, vice-chairman Mohamed bin Ahmed bin Tuwar, honorary treasurer Ali al-Misnad and board members. Staff Brig Gen Abdulla al-Suwaydi, director, GDCD, headed the deliberations. Several GDCD officers also attended the meeting, including Capt Ali Aman al-Ali, assistant director of GDCD prevention department. A businessman suggested that the main contractor should be informed directly about the process of implementing the GDCD safety requirements. In reply, GDCD said the service was already available through Metrash. Another businessman recommended that GDCD issue a unified code of safety and security requirements specifically tailored for Qatar. GDCD said it was focusing on determining a code suitable for the Qatari environment and climate. GDCD said its personnel faced difficulties during the inspection of some projects, which delayed the process of issuing clearance permits. These hurdles included the absence of consultative engineers and contractors at the site of inspection, incomplete and poorly organised documentation at the time of inspection, and lack of co-ordination and proper communication between contractors and inspectors. Sheikh Khalifa bin Jassim stressed that the meeting would further improve co-operation between QC, GDCD and other government entities, thereby expediting the process of production. Brig Gen al-Suwaydi said the meeting mainly aimed at easing the procedures for businessmen and finding fundamental solutions for their problems, besides raising awareness on the standard safety and security requirements involved.

Gulf Times Newspaper 2013

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Apr 13, 2013
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