Bahrain plans major township in Hidd
Manama, February 16, 2012
A big new township is being planned for the Hidd area in Bahrain to ease the housing shortage, said a senior government official.
'We are also looking for land in Arad, Busaiteen, Samaheej and Al Dair,' Housing Minister Bassim Al Hamer added.
He said the townships in Samaheej and Al Dair had seen one phase of housing planned. 'In my tenure, they are getting a second phase. And in another six months, a third phase is expected. I am toying with the idea of a fourth phase so there is enough stock,' he said, adding the projects were expected to clear the waitlist in Muharraq.
Al Hamer said the ministry's policy is that homes are allotted on a first come first served basis.
'We also address a few cases based on humanitarian needs and give them preference. There are areas where there can't be any future projects and people there hope they would be allocated projects. This can't be followed all the time as the ministry has to be fair in allocation. Preference must be given to those who registered early.
'In new projects we allot some homes on a pro-rata basis. But there are people waiting for a very long time. Their priorities have to be respected.'
Muharraq councillors, however, want him to desist from allotting homes based on the area where a project is coming up. They said applicants from all of Muharraq should be considered in new projects, especially in Busaiteen and Galali.
They expressed reservations on the policy of giving priority to residents of Busaiteen and Galali in both projects.
Councillor Ghazi Al Murbati, representing old Muharraq and Al Hala, said there were residents in both areas, whose applications were pending since 1995.
'No land is available in both areas for projects and residents are depending on projects in other parts of Muharraq, including Busaiteen and Galali. They will never get a home if units will be allotted to residents of these two towns first and then the remaining distributed to all of Bahrain,' Mr Al Murbati said.
The Muharraq island needs about 7,000 homes, he added.
'We want the minister to look at the waitlist in Muharraq and distribute the 1,100 units coming up in Busaiteen and Galali, based on date and year of application,' Muharraq Municipal Council chairman Abdulnasser Al Mahmeed said.
'It is unfair to have a person who applied in 1995 still waiting for a home because he is from old Muharraq, while his friend in Galali who applied in 2003 gets one.
'The eight constituencies from Muharraq to Hidd are part of the Muharraq island. When the government completes a project, it should consider the entire island, not immediate neighbourhoods.'
He said the allocation system would mean 550 homes for Busaiteen and Galali and 550 for others. 'The ministry must create space to house residents of other parts of Muharraq.'
Al Mahmeed and Mr Murbati are set to meet people at the Al Duoy Majlis in Al Hala on Saturday to discuss the issue. – TradeArabia News Service
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