Muharraq City Market project likely to be shelved

Posted on 30th March 2015

A contract to build a new BD6 million ($15.7 million) central market in Muharraq could be deemed null and void after Bahrain’s Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Essam Khalaf referred it to the Legalisation and Legal Opinion Commission.

Muharraq

The decision was taken after Muharraq Municipal Council raised suspicions that there were several constitutional, legal, financial and technical flaws in the contract, which was initially signed between Muharraq Municipality director-general Saleh Al Fadhala and the Muharraq Central Market Company, a subsidiary of Tashgeel for Commercial Buildings Management, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN).

Plans for the new market included a shopping complex, hypermarket and separate sections for meat, fish, fruits and vegetables, in addition to special areas for people who manufacture traditional crafts, government offices, banks, restaurants, cafes, and a basement car park with 200 spaces.

“Under the law, every contract exceeding BD300,000 needs to be revised by the Legalisation and Legal Opinion Commission before it gets signed,” said Muharraq Municipal Council financial, administrative and legislative committee chairman Ghazy Al Murbati during their meeting yesterday.

“There is a dispute over whether work should be stopped or allowed to go ahead within the Muharraq Governorate and we need to know what step to take next, because the current situation is not serving anyone.”

The GDN reported last month that traders who were supposed to move out of the Muharraq Central Market in June last year were refusing to leave.

Objection

Twenty-five businesses, including a branch of Ramez, are apparently digging their heels in because they are unhappy with the proposed new location.

Council chairman Mohammed Al Sinan said then that traders had every right to object to their eviction since they were not provided with a good location to continue their trade.

Meat, fish, fruits and vegetable vendors have been moved to a temporary steel-structured market at the nearby Hassan Bin Thabet Public Park.

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