Dubai, Nov 6 (UNI) A large number of illegal workers, mostly from southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh, who worked here in various construction companies claim they have been living in a park in Karama for the past few days as they have no money to buy air tickets to go home.
The workers, the amnesty period for whom ended on Saturday, say they barely have money to afford a meal a day, leave alone air tickets.
''I have been living in the park for more than 15 days and have no money to even buy a meal. I want to go back to my country but do not have any money to buy an air ticket,'' Khaleej Times quoted Sreedhar, a labourer, as saying.
''I tried contacting the construction company I worked for earlier to settle my dues or give me some money to go back. However, that didn't work. Now, I want to go back to my family and work in India. I am extremely worried and hope all of us would leave Dubai as soon as possible,'' said another labourer Rambabu.
The labourers say they have obtained outpasses and all the necessary immigration clearances, but are only waiting to secure air tickets. Most of them were on visit visas that have expired. Some of them were expecting to leave last night as a person, who did not want to be named, had promised to get them air tickets.
''We will look into the issue immediately. It is a matter of concern and we will render all possible assistance,'' Indian Consul-General in Dubai Venu Rajamony was quoted by the paper as saying.
Dubai Naturalisation and Residency Department (DNRD) Director Brigadier Mohammed Ahmed Al Marri said the Permanent Committee for Labour Affairs will follow up the matter and track down their sponsors.
''The sponsors will have to bear the responsibility of providing air tickets to them. We are willing to try and help these labourers go back to their country,'' Brig Al Marri said.