Plans have been drawn up to revamp Bahrain's villages.
$210m revamp plans for Bahrain villages
Manama, February 23, 2014
Some of Bahrain's most neglected areas could be in line for a major revamp after plans were announced to spend BD80 million ($210.9 million) to develop 10 villages.
Councillors have selected two from each of the country's five governorates based on which ones most need improvement, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
They include Naim, Galali, Ma'ameer, Karranah and Zallaq, however, the full list has yet to be revealed.
Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Dr Juma Al Ka'abi said plans had already been drawn up for all the 10 villages.
He said officials were now lobbying the Finance Ministry for the funds to make the project a reality.
"We do not have the budget to start on these villages," he said at a press conference held at the ministry's headquarters in Manama.
"Once we get the backing, the project can be completed in two years.
"We have formed a committee of various ministries to ensure that no ministry undoes the others' work.
"We want to have each ministry do their part and know that the other ministries will work in tandem, not separately.
"The plans are finished and ready to be implemented, all we need is the funding."
Each proposed plan for the villages is individual to the area.
"Each one will mean widening the roads, adding parking structures, public parks and health centres," said ministry assistant under-secretary for common municipal services Mohammed Noor Al Shaikh.
"We will also try and find a way to utilise empty plots of land."
Meanwhile, the ministry announced that work on projects totalling BD24 million were nearing completion, under construction or agreements had been signed to start work.
"We have 24 parks ready to be opened to the public, as well as Budaiya Coast and Al Dur Coast developments in the coming weeks," said Al Shaikh.
"We are also almost finished with the Isa Town traditional market.
"Construction has started at Askar Coast, Wadi Al Seel Park and a pedestrian walkway.
"Agreements have been signed for the Manama Central Market refurbishment and part of the King Faisal Corniche."
He added a walkway in Hamad Town would also open soon, as well as the Hamad Town road tunnels.
Agreements for Galali Beach, Arad Mall, Muharraq Grand Park and Muharraq Grand Suq have been signed with contractors.
"Work on the 2.8km Sitra Bridge Corniche will start at the end of the month and is expected to be completed in four to five months," he said. "We hope to be open by August.
"The hard landscape was done with the help of the Works Ministry, and we are now working on the soft landscape."
Dr Al Ka'abi added that it would be one of the most beautiful corniches in Bahrain because of its location.
Al Shaikh also gave a breakdown of funds needed by the ministry to appropriate land.
"We need to appropriate land to carry out many of our projects," he said. "It would mostly be used for parking, parks and public services.
"We need BD40 million to do this at the moment to cover all our projects, and it increases every year.
"We only have a budget of BD2 million every year for appropriation, so many projects are stalled for this reason.
"Everything is ready, but we don't have the funds." - TradeArabia News Service