Bahrain plans $26m revamp for village
Manama, October 24, 2011
A rundown Bahraini village located on the doorstep of one of the country's main commercial centres has been earmarked for a BD10 million ($26.5 million) revamp, designed to make it a "model village".
Karbabad, situated next to the Seef District, will be the first of seven villages nationwide to benefit from a major redevelopment programme.
The project was announced yesterday (October 23) and work is due to start early next year.
It will be carried out by the Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry's Urban Development Directorate and overseen by the Manama Municipal Council.
Karbabad has been selected to be the first due to its deep roots in history, thanks to Bahrain Fort, its close proximity to the Seef District and its rich heritage of basket-weaving - a profession that dates back years in the village.
The revamp will be divided into five phases that include building government homes, a handicrafts centre and market, a shopping complex and plaza, a gateway and a monument on the village's main roundabout.
It will also include family rest areas and car parks, walkways, a new headquarters for the Karbabad Charitable Society and a large mural measuring 860 sq m.
The first phase, costing BD1.5 million, will include purchasing private plots and planting green areas as well as other projects determined by the council.
It excludes road works, which will be handled by the Works Ministry.
"We are very happy that Karbabad has been selected to be the first model village in not just the Manama Governorate, but the whole of Bahrain," said council vice-chairman and area councillor Mohammed Mansoor.
"In 2008, Malkiya village in the Northern Governorate was selected to be the first, but for different reasons - like youths rioting and the financial crisis - the project was kept on hold. Now, after three years, Karbabad will be the first to kick-off the revamp plan, which also includes six other villages to be announced soon - depending on the progress of work in my area.”
"The revamp means a huge improvement to the village, which the government sees as a link between history, urbanisation and heritage and, hopefully, Karbabad will prove it's truly the best choice to begin with,” he added.
Mansoor, who led a meeting at the council premises on the revamp yesterday, said work on the revamp would begin early next year since all designs were ready.
"The ministry has already completed artist impressions and come up with a plan for the five-phase revamp, which means it just awaits the official go-ahead from (Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi," Mansoor said.
"The first phase will cost around BD1.5 million out of the BD10 million total cost of the revamp and we have instructed ministry officials not to follow their original plan precisely, but work with flexibility.
"Whatever is left from purchasing plots and planting green areas out of the BD1.5 million can be used, for example, to either build the gateway or family rest areas, even though they come at a later stage."
Mansoor said it was time for residents of the village to celebrate, since it meant long-awaited projects would now see the light.
"The Housing Ministry will build new government homes on an area of 6,841sq m, while the Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry and the Works Ministry will build 101 public car park spaces," he said.
"The government will also build a new handicrafts centre and market, the Human Rights and Social Development Ministry will build a new social centre alongside rehabilitating lands and setting up children's rides in them.
"The village will be given a facelift with a new gateway on one side and a monument that showcases the traditional value of the village, on the other," Mansoor said.
He said the council would supervise the facelift throughout all of its stages.
"We want the project to succeed and will do whatever is possible to ensure that," he added. – TradeArabia News Service