Awamiyah set to become a model town in KSA

Work on at full swing after total evacuation


Saudi Gazette

“THE nightmare is over and now from the rubbles of Awamiyah will emerge a modern and smart township where peace and tranquility will prevail,” said an optimistic Essam Bin Abdul Latif Al-Mulla, acting secretary general of the Eastern Province Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Asharqia chamber), who was briefing newspersons on the status of Awamiyah evacuation and rebuilding plan at the Asharqia Chamber after a guided tour of the demolished town.

Now that the demolition work has come to an end and evacuation completed, the Eastern Province Municipal authorities are busy clearing the debris and are now focusing on the blue print of the new township to give it the final touches and work out mechanism of its execution.

The municipality incurred a loss of nearly SR18 million in the demolition operation as troublemakers damaged demolition machines and other gadgets while resisting evacuation. A vast majority of the town had voluntarily evacuated the town after the government called upon Awamiyah citizens to evacuate the area in order to rebuild a new and secure township. There were very few residents who resisted the evacuation and resorted to violence. They allegedly used innocent citizens as human shield and delayed the evacuation. The security forces eventually succeeded in flushing them out and are now in control of the area.

According to municipal authorities in all 188,000 square meters of the area has been earmarked for the reconstruction of the new township. A total of 488 houses were demolished but the demolition squad was extremely careful in safeguarding structures of national heritage and historical importance.

Al Mulla, said that care has been taken in preserving the heritage structures and places of historical importance. The new town will be a fine mix of modernity and traditional Arab architecture.

The authorities confirmed that those who had voluntarily evacuated their dwellings were properly compensated. The authorities have already disbursed nearly SR900 million in compensation. In addition it has also provided alternative accommodation to the evacuees.

Without any doubt the plan for the new township is an ambitious one. Sprawled in an area of 188,000 square meters, the new township will have a modest market place covering an area of 2,300 square meters; a men’s gymnasium in an area of 1,250 square meters, a commercial center in area of 865 square meters; a large shopping mall spread in an area of 4,310 square meters. Other structures in the new township will also include separate men and women halls, shops, restaurants, medical center, school and nursery, library, heritage center and above all a parking area for more than 600 cars.

Mohammad Al-Sufyan, spokesperson of Eastern Province Municipality, told Okaz/Saudi Gazette. “It’s one of the most important projects being carried out by the municipality in the Eastern Province.”

He said the presence of a number of abandoned homes in the district was threatening security of its people as criminals used them as hideouts. “The project was designed on the basis of proposals made by experts,” he added.

The people of Qatif, meanwhile, expressed their happiness over the government’s efforts. “It’s one of the important projects,” said Nabeeh Al-Barahim, former chairman of the Municipal Council. “The project will boost development of the Qatif region,” he added.

Businessman Shakir Al-Nouh said the new project would bring about a facelift for Awamiyah. “People have been living in Masura in fear. This fear will disappear and peace and security will prevail in the district,” Al-Nouh said.

Zaki Al-Zayer, another businessman, commended the government for implementing the new project and said it would reinforce peace and stability in the district.

Dr. Abdullah Al-Saihati, chairman of Saihati Group, urged troublemakers in Awamiyah to surrender to police to establish peace in the city. “The demolition of old houses in Masura shows the government’s resolve to carry out speedy implementation of the development project,” he added.

More than 60 heavy equipment and machinery were used to demolish the buildings in Masura. About 100 trucks removed 1,200 tons of debris every day in one of the biggest operations.

Now that the situation has been brought under control, the people in the Qatif region look forward to a new chapter in their life filled with peace, tranquility and dignity. “The nightmare is over” summed up a youth from neighboring Tarout.