Call to halt $1bn Bahrain coastal project
Manama, November 18, 2009
Bahrain MPs have demanded work to be halted at an estimated $1 billion (BD378 million) development off the kingdom's northern coastline.
They claimed that work on Al Nurana project, spearheaded by the Manara Development Company, began without the approval of the Northern Municipal Council.
The move followed an urgent proposal submitted by Al Wefaq bloc, which claimed that the sea had already been reclaimed for the project and work was scheduled to begin within days without a permit being granted.
Public utilities and environment affairs committee chairman Jawad Fairooz said that the project did not take into consideration the government's master plan, which outlines how the country would be by 2030.
'The reclaimed land that will be used for the project shouldn't be touched as the master plan indicates that it is a sea, while the other part is earmarked for a government housing project approved by the Housing Ministry in 2005,' he said.
'People have demands and the developers have been told if the project is approved then it will go ahead, but they didn't wait.
'The biggest question is who gave them the go-ahead.'
Our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News had reported last month that developers had to meet strict conditions before councillors approve the major development.
They include charity payments of up to BD80,000 to help nearby communities of Jid Al Haj, Janusan, Karranah and those living near Bahrain Fort.
Residents are also demanding a public coastline, a walkway and a jetty for fishermen, in addition to a sports hall for Karranah villagers and houses.
The developers were also asked to provide fair compensations to fishermen affected by the mass reclamation taking place.
Residents were also seeking three public parks for residents of Karranah, Janusan and Jid Al Haj, which would be paid for by the developer. In addition, councillors demanded 200 houses to be built and distributed among the village's residents currently on the Housing Ministry's waiting lists. The developer had reportedly already agreed to build many roads to help ease possible traffic congestion the area may have.
The proposal will now be studied by the Cabinet.-TradeArabia News Service