500 homes to be put out to tender, a decade after project was launched
Construction work on the $4.5bn Northern Town project in Bahrain is set to finally begin, with the first 500 houses being put out to tender, more than a decade after the project was officially launched.
Around 75,000 homes, a university, hospital, aquarium and aquatic physiotherapy centre were planned when HH Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander, laid the foundation stone for the project in October 2002.
Reclamation work has now been completed and some 500 houses have been earmarked for construction early next year, a report in the Gulf Daily News said.
However, it remains unclear if the project plans remain the same or if they have been modified.
The Northern Municipal Council chairman, Ali Al Jabal told the Bahraini paper that he welcomed project being put out to tender and that he hoped the rest would follow quickly.
“A decade has passed and instead of celebrating its success, we are talking about an empty reclaimed town in the sea,” he said.
“Nothing has been done in the town despite numerous promises that everything was going according to plan.”
“We just want people who were promised homes to settle down. It has been years and many of the beneficiaries may now have extended families. They are either living in their parents’ homes or rented accommodation,” Al Jabal claimed.
He added that new timeframes detailing the progress of work on the project should include homes, roads, sewage networks, electricity and water, health, education and transportation.
Al Jabal pointed out that the Works Ministry shouldn’t allocate land for investment without prior approval from the council.
“We are still not happy with the proposed sizes of homes and land that will be distributed to the public. We hope a rethink is done in this regard,” he said.
It is expected that a road network costing around $183.2m will be built soon, but the choice between coastal and inland routes have yet to be finalised.