New 4km Bahrain public beach on way
Manama, January 13, 2011
Juffair residents are set to benefit from a government-led plan to construct a 4km public beach in the area.
The aim is to give back sea access to the public, which has been in decline due to reclamation and development.
The Municipal and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry has already received the land deeds from the Royal Court, according to officials.
A new 3km coastline will stretch from near the Isa Cultural Centre to Prince Khalifa Bridge.
This is in addition to a 1km coastline required for a major BD8 million development of Al Fateh Corniche.
The two coastlines will run from the Isa Cultural Centre, across Juffair and past the Bahrain Specialist Hospital, reaching Prince Khalifa Bridge.
The two coastline projects are intercepted by land that will house the new National Assembly being developed by Edamah, the government's real estate wing.
The corniche's facelift should have originally begun in July, but was delayed by a funds shortage.
Money was later assigned to the municipality, but problems determining the development's size delayed the project further.
The Manama Municipal Council earlier instructed the municipality to offer parts of the corniche for investment to help generate income for the project, which will be carried out on an area of 153,430sqm. It will include recreational and family areas with access to the seafront as well as restaurants and coffee shops.
The corniche will be smoke-free with all of the existing sheesha coffee shops removed, but negotiations to allow some to exist within the new development have been suggested on the condition the Health Ministry gives it approval.
Ministry joint municipal services assistant under-secretary Mohammed Noor Al Shaikh said that getting the 3km deeds was a huge step forward in restoring Juffair's identity.
'The development project to turn the place into a proper family and recreational facility will take time and will be done through phases,' he told our sister newspaper Gulf Daily News (GDN).
'It will take years considering that there are plots of land still awaiting reclamation by their owners or the government for us to begin work.
'We will also begin with 1km that we are trying to have for the delayed Al Fateh Corniche's development and already acquired initial approval for.'
Council technical committee chairman and Juffair councillor Hussain Qarqoor said the deeds were a sigh of relief for everyone in the area, who had been waiting for a public coastline for a long time.
'Reclamation in Juffair began gradually in the 60s and increased rapidly in the 90s. After all these years residents will finally get something back from their lost identity,' he said.
'We used to live in a village surrounded by sea, in some cases just few metres away from our homes. Even though it will take at least a 2km drive, it is better than being left with nothing.' He said that the ministry should start preparing plans for the coast, even though a lot of work is yet to start. 'I understand that there are land plots that need reclamation, but having a preliminary vision on how it should be will save time.
'I understand that it may take up to 10 years for it to be turned into a proper facility, but doing it through phases will certainly be helpful,' he said.-TradeArabia News Service
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