Bahrain mulls major revamp for towns
Manama, April 6, 2012
A major scheme to revamp roads and sewage networks, construct new infrastructure and set up community facilities in towns and villages across Bahrain is being studied by the Cabinet, said a senior government official.
It will be carried out by the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry, and would replace the existing scheme in which upgrading work was carried out area by area.
If the new plan is approved then work would be carried out immediately based on the need of each governorate.
"The new scheme is currently under study and could possibly replace the towns and villages development scheme formerly carried by my ministry before falling short due to budget shortages," revealed Works Minister Essam Khalaf during a special meeting with the Manama Municipal Council yesterday.
"When we started with our scheme in 2003-2004, we had ambitions to improve one village or town per governorate, which means five (towns) every year,” he added.
"We discovered later it was too ambitious and that in reality it was by far more difficult than planned as work was more than expected.
"The ministry used to do sewage networks and then major road works, but we discovered that we needed to change infrastructure like having replacements to old electricity connections, remove electricity posts and purchase lands to expand streets."
Khalaf said the budget for developing the areas each year was between BD250,000 ($663,480) and BD500,000.
"We found out that the existing scheme cost us at least BD2 million a year, so we decided to stop work in towns and villages selected for the year 2007 and focus on demands by municipal councillors in each area," he said.
"A unified government budget will be under the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry and will begin next year.
"The new scheme is better and bigger and will see all service ministries come under the guidance of the Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry.
"Projects will not just include roads and sewage but other infrastructure facilities, services and community projects based on the need of each town and village selected." – TradeArabia News Service