Projects worth US$ 3.2 mn planned toward renovation of Manama Central Market over next two years

Posted on 19th February 2015

Plans to renovate the 40-year-old Manama Central Market are among a number of projects totaling BD 1.24 million (US$3.2 million) that have been proposed for Bahrain's capital over the next two years.

bahrain-market

They were drawn up by the government-run Capital Trustees Authority and submitted yesterday (February 18) to the Capital Trustees Board, which replaced the Manama Municipal Council in December, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN).

A total budget of BD1.683 million has been earmarked for the Capital Trustees Board's spending in 2015 and 2016.

It includes BD 694,000 this year and BD 546,000 next year for new projects - BD 180,000 this year and BD 200,000 next year for maintenance and BD 30,577 this year and BD 32,500 next year for contractual obligations.

“The BD1.24 million projects budget that we aim to spend over the two years will cover new centralised air-conditioning at the Lulu Shopping Centre and the retail sections at the Manama Central Market,' said Authority markets organisation and maintenance head Rabab Juma.

“It will also cover replacing all stalls at the meat and fish markets, expanding the loading area and rearranging the truck stop section.

“Maintenance will cost BD 16,000 for the vegetables and fruits market, BD12,000 for the fish market, BD 9,000 for the meat market, the new shops section BD 7,000, BD 65,000 for Lulu, BD6,000 for the truck stop section, BD 15,000 for the administration's offices and BD 50,000 miscellaneous.

“They will cover ventilation, sewage, painting, lighting and installing new signs and fire extinguishers.”

Authority properties and parks director Zuhair Al Dallal said the market had encountered several problems.

“We have not seen new employment, like having a specialised engineer, two maintenance specialists and two market organisation specialists and this has led to delays or low quality work,” he said.

“There is a need to create new jobs at the market like building specialists, which we currently don't have and are in need of.”

He added a surge in the number of market traders had limited space.

“There is no space for us to store food products that we confiscate from merchants for violations,” said Al Dallal.

“There are water leaks and there are no available maps detailing the whereabouts of water and electricity connections.

“Our employees are not trained to operate during emergencies whenever the market needs intervention and that's a problem we need to deal with.”

The spending plans were submitted to the Capital Trustees Board on an urgent basis, with the government currently drawing up its two-year budget for the entire public sector.

However, board chairman Mohammed Al Khozaae demanded time to review the spending proposals.

The Manama Central Market was previously earmarked for a BD200 million redevelopment in August 2011, but a lack of investors meant the project never went ahead.

Contract

Tashgeel for Commercial Buildings Management had been awarded a contract to come up with a new concept for the market, but has since been granted repeated extensions to a one-year deadline.

“That issue with Tashgeel will be dealt as we plan to meet with them on the progress of their work within the coming days,” Al Khozaae told the GDN.

“For now, we are interested with what we have and that's plans to develop the market.

“We have backed it, but need to make sure that spending matches what it is being allocated for.

“The plans and the required amounts should have been given to us last month if it was urgent, not on the spot, as we are a professional establishment that doesn't rush things without study.”

Meanwhile, the board also approved plans and artists' impressions for the projects.

However, the projects will only get the go-ahead if they are included in the national budget draft, which will be referred to parliament by the Cabinet soon.

Among the plans presented by the authority's parks development head Ahmed Shuwaitar were a BD90,000 public square in Adliya set to cover more than 1,200 square meters, the BD120,000 Shaikh Duaij Square in Gudaibiya covering 15,612 sq m and a BD90,000 revamp for Shaikh Salman Square near the Interior Ministry's headquarters in Manama.

Other plans include the creation of a BD250,000 corniche area on the Sitra Causeway and a BD300,000, 4,000sqm corniche for the adjacent Nabih Saleh within the next 10 months.

Shuwaitar said that other projects were also in the pipeline.

“Nouf Public Park in Hoora will cost BD200,000 and cover 4,4132sqm, while Al Buwara Public Park also in the same area will cost BD227,878 to cover 3,970sqm with work taking up to six months and Al Meshal Public Park will cost BD400,000 covering an area of 8,047sqm over 10 months,' he said.

“There are also plans for a new dhow monument on Exhibition Road at a cost of BD80,000 with work taking up to six months, while another wall monument will be built in Sanabis at a cost of BD40,000.”

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