By Sarah Townsend
Construction work is not expected to begin until compensation deals have been struck with current residents
Officials have launched a scheme to bulldoze rundown houses in Muharraq old town in Bahrain and replace them with 300 government funded new homes.
Three neighbourhoods in the district – Bin Hindi, Hala and Amamra – have reportedly been earmarked for the scheme, although officials are understood to be considering additional locations.
The intention is to build the new homes to original designs but using modern construction materials that are more durable, according to a report in Gulf Daily News.
However, construction work is not expected to begin until compensation deals have been struck with current residents. It is understood that the homes would not be given back to their original owners and instead be distributed among ‘eligible’ families on the government’s social housing waiting lists. Families who were original inhabitants of the neighbourhood will be targeted, it was reported.
The newspaper quoted Samy Buhazaa, assistant under secretary to Muharraq’s housing minister, as saying: “We are currently surveying old Muharraq neighbourhoods to come up with plans to compensate homeowners whose houses we will purchase and bulldoze.
“We are also looking for the support of the council to take over public parks, walkways and other governmental facilities to be included in the project, and the compensations for those would be to provide them with alternative plots of land elsewhere.”
Buhazaa added that Bahrain authorities had blocked some homes from being included in the demolition plans due to their historical importance, or because they have already been earmarked for renovation by the Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Ministry.
The new project is intended to restore the social fabric of old neighbourhoods in Muhurraq, council chairman Mohammed Al Sinan was quoted as saying.
“Many families originally from these neighbourhoods do not want to move to new housing projects in Galali, Busaiteen or Hidd and would like to stay in old Muharraq.
“This project will help create more homes in other areas for people on the waiting list.”For all the latest construction news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.