Bahrain plans land for people with special needs
Manama, April 18, 2011
People with special needs could be given land in the heart of Bahrain to start their own businesses, it has emerged.
The proposal aims to help vulnerable members of society support themselves and is currently being studied by the Central Municipal Council.
Among those backing the idea is councillor Ghazi Al Hamer, who suggested slashing municipal fees for those who qualified.
'This project's purpose is to help support the disabled,' he said.
'It can be a way to allow them to become breadwinners and not be dependent on others.'
However, council vice-chairman Adel Al Sitri stressed that clear guidelines should be in place on who should qualify.
'We need to specify the people with special needs that can benefit from this project,' he said.
'Otherwise, anyone can claim they have a disability to get their hands on such an appealing deal.'
Meanwhile, council chairman Abdulrazzaq Al Hattab described the proposal as 'noble' during a meeting of the council, but said there were still questions that needed answering before it could be submitted to the Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry for action.
'We need to collect all councillors' suggestions to make this proposal a winner in the eyes of the ministry,' he said.
He warned that a similar proposal in 2004 was rejected because of fears that the scheme could be open to abuse.
The council had suggested people with special needs should be allowed to open shops in their own homes.
But the ministry vetoed the plan, fearing that illegal shops would spring up in the homes of people who did not qualify - making the scheme difficult for municipal inspectors to monitor.-TradeArabia News Service