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HM King hails Works Ministry’s achievements


Manama, Sep. 13 (BNA): His Majesty King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa received, in the presence of His Royal Highness Prime Minister Prince Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa, the Minister of Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister, Essam bin Abdulla Khalaf, and a number of the Ministry’s staff, at the Al-Sakhir Palace today.

HM the King delivered a keynote speech in which he extended thanks to all the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry’s staff, led by Minister Essam Khalfa, for the tremendous efforts they are exerting to implement projects and programmes aimed at enhancing sustainable urban planning and developing the kingdom’s infrastructure according to the best international standards, which contributed to increasing number of quality achievements, and to boosting the kingdom’s economic and urban development.

This is the natural outcome of the kingdom’s deep-rooted municipal work, which commenced with the establishment of the Manama Municipality 100 years ago, and the implementation of the first municipal law at the level of the Arab region, HM the King said.

HM King Hamad stressed that in order to maintain the advanced level of Bahrain’s comprehensive development march, the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry, being a service ministry, should continue giving priority to improving the services provided to for citizens, and developing infrastructure systems and networks to cope with the requirements of the urban, investment and industrial growth the kingdom is currently witnessing, and to meet the needs of all regions across the country.

HM the King pointed out that efforts to enhance the kingdom’s urban and economic development should be coupled with equal interest in consolidating agricultural development, preserving natural resources and protecting the environment.

HM King Hamad lauded the “renewed solutions” provided by the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning in various fields in order to serve the citizens.

HM the King also thanked chairmen and members of municipal councils for their tireless efforts and joint cooperation with the Works Ministry in order to develop municipal work and meet the citizens’ needs, adding that he is looking forward to holding a special ceremony to mark the centennial of municipal work in Bahrain.

HM King Hamad renewed thanks and appreciation to Works Ministry’s staff for their efforts reflecting the dedication of Bahrainis in serving their nation and preserving their deep-rooted authentic civilizational heritage.

Then, Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister delivered a speech in which he extended, on behalf of all the Works Ministry’s affiliates, deepest thanks and gratitude to HM the King for his constant support, and for the audience.

The minister affirmed that the nation-building process in the kingdom would continue unabated through many development projects that would contribute to improving infrastructure and consolidating the urban development requirement.

Thanks to the support of the leadership and the government, the kingdom has made remarkable progress in infrastructure projects, he said, adding that the ministry has made significant progress in building roads and sanitary networks, as well as strategic building projects.

He explained that the ministry had developed a network of strategic roads and built a number of bridges and tunnels, including mainly the Hamad Town Tunnel, the Mina Salman Tunnel, the Um Al-Hassam Conjunction, in addition to the Isa Town, Zallaq, Sitra and North Manama bridges.

He also said that the Shaikh Isa Avenue had been developed, and the traffic had been eased from all directions and at all intersections, and had become, as a result, a vital artery for the traffic movement and cargo transportation, and contributed positively to boosting trade, service and tourism transportation between Bahrain and Saudi Arabia.

Regarding construction and strategic projects, the minister expressed the Works Ministry’s pride for having built a number of government buildings, citing that the Bahrain National Theatre, inaugurated by HM the King on November 12, 2012, the Night Lighting for BIC, in addition to schools, heath and community centres, and the recent Family Courts Complex.

He asserted that during the previous budget cycle, the Works Ministry had paved 60 kilometres of dust roads, with rainwater drainage networks and lighting that benefited about 15,000 real estates across the kingdom.

He also said that despite the continuous population and urban growth, 95 percent of the citizens and residents enjoy sanitation services, noting that the ministry opened the Muharraq Sewage Treatment Plant, one of the most important strategic infrastructure projects, in July 2014, in partnership with the private sector, and will continue delivering high-quality sanitation services.

Regarding sustainable development, one of pillars of the Economic Vision for Bahrain, 20130, the minister said that following HM the King’s issuance of Decree-law 36/2016 to update the National Strategic Master Plan for Bahrain, outlook 2030, aiming to regulate the use of land according to the requirements of development in the housing, industrial and investments, and the issuance of Royal Decree on establishing the High Urban Planning Committee, under the leadership of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, the Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister, the Works Ministry started establishing the Urban Planning and Development Authority to enhance the planning work in accordance with the needs of the development march.

Concerning urban development, the minister stressed that the Municipal One Stop Shop had contributed to pushing development forward through ensuring easy transactions regarding the issuance of various permits.

As far as municipal work is concerned, he said that the ministry had established more 200 parks and recreational facilities across the kingdom, which, he explained, provided outlets for the citizens and residents, contributed to consolidating ecological and biological balance and boosted the kingdom’s status regarding greenery.

Concerning sea fronts, he said that the Works Ministry is striving to provide enough waterfronts and spaces to practise various recreational activities, in line with the directives of the High Urban Planning Committee.

Regarding marine wealth, Khalaf said, the Works Ministry is sparing no effort to develop the sector through supporting fishermen, developing fishing ports, as well as encouraging alternatives aimed at developing marine wealth, such as fish farming, in partnership with the private sector.

Highlighting efforts to achieve food security, the Ministry is seeking to protect Bahrain’s traditional agricultural and vegetable products.

He pledged that the Works Ministry would continue bringing about landmark achievements during HM the King’s prosperous era, in line with the directives and support of HM King Hamad, HRH Premier and HRH the Crown Prince.

He prayed to Allah the Almighty to protect HM the King and to guide him on the right path.

HM King Hamad hosted a lunch banquet in honour of the staff of the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry.