NAJRAN – People here by and large have welcomed the appointment of Prince Mishal Bin Abdullah as their new Emir. Several people took the opportunity to air their views about the region’s development projects already underway and those in the pipeline and their expectations from the new Emir.
Water from Empty Quarter
For several years, people here have heard about the supply of pure water from the Empty Quarter. Saleh Bin Mansour, a citizen, said, for years, they have heard about the project for which “half a billion riyals have already been earmarked by the government. So far nothing has materialized from the mega project.”
He said the new Emir was expected to accelerate the implementation of this strategic project. He said he would urge Prince Mishal to take the Najran Water Administration to task over the drainage project “which has disfigured the city’s streets.”
Najran, he said, is rich in potential but efforts should be exerted to make the best out of it. “Most of the projects in the region lack artistic touch. Look at the roads and streets in the city; they need to be re-asphalted.
“The condition of the city’s parks and parks is not any better. They need more care,” he added
Bad roads network
Hussein Al-Mustaneer said: “The big allocations approved in the state’s budget for Najran since King Abdullah’s visit to the region are not reflected in the little development the region has witnessed. Where has all the money gone which was allocated for lighting and roads construction? Any visitor to the region can easily notice the poor network of roads and inadequate lighting. Many people have lost their lives because of the pits on the roads and poor maintenance.”
No region in the entire country, he said, can compete with Najran for being the worst model for urban planning.
Airport and roads
Residents of Al-Khrakheer Governorate in the Empty Quarter have appealed to Prince Mishal to put an end to their sufferings and end their isolation from the rest of the world.
They said the greatest challenges they face is the incomplete vital road network linking them to the rest of the Kingdom. Several people in the governorate, they said, have lost their lives because of no access to referral hospitals in the region. They also complained about the slow progress of one of the sectors working on the road.
Awad Al-Mnahali, a resident, said: “Once we had an airport serving the governorate but it has now fallen on the Yemeni side after the demarcation of the borders. Officials promised us a new airport but it has yet remained a promise.”
Ali Aal-Hermis urged Prince Mishal to speed up the construction of Najran airport of which the King has laid the foundation stone three years ago.
Najran, Hussein Al-Yami said, is distinguished for its huge tourist potentials because of its archeological sites and rich heritage.
“But because of the unharmonious efforts of the Tourism Development Council and aversion of businessmen in Najran from investing in the field particularly in construction of recreational facilities has slowed down implementation of tourism projects in the region. This also explains why Najran is at the bottom of tourist attraction areas in the Kingdom. Thus, he said, development of tourism should be on top of the priorities of the new Emir. “
Poor health facilities and innumerable medical errors constitute a real challenge awaiting Prince Mishal. Al-Harithy, a resident, said the officials in charge of the health sector in the region should be questioned about the deterioration of the health services in the region. – Okaz/SG