A CLAMP on new multi-storey buildings in Saar and Janabiya has been demanded by municipal councillors.
The Northern Municipal Council yesterday warned about increasing pressure on roads networks in both villages, along with sewage, electricity and water services still behind in infrastructure despite an influx of residents.
It voted to halt all new permits for apartment buildings until existing infrastructure problems were tackled following hundreds of complaints from residents in Saar and Janabiya.
“Urbanisation is imminent and there are requests to build homes, buildings and investments in both villages, but existing infrastructure will not cope,” said council chairman Mohammed Buhamood.
“Residences are not an issue, not are investments since commercial services are necessary, but the problem is with six-storey furnished apartment buildings.
“Such buildings are fully occupied on a daily basis by GCC nationals, and as landowners see a potential to make more money they are being granted permission to build more without consideration to infrastructure facilities.
“We have been demanding that development on roads, sewage, electricity and water networks should be carried out in the area for a very long time, but nothing has been done, with everything there being put under pressure as people move in.”
The GDN reported in October 2016 that councillors were looking for action to prevent the two popular villages from turning into “sin cities”.
They said at the time that furnished apartments that have popped up would eventually lead to the emergence of nightlife in the Northern Governorate which they claimed could include opening of clubs and liquor stores.
Councillors had warned that both villages located in constituency seven could be turned into the new Juffair.
“We are against the concept of apartment buildings in the first place,” said Mr Buhamood.
“Both villages are close to King Fahad Causeway and apartments there are much cheaper in price than Juffair or other areas in the capital and there have been complaints in the past against sleaze and prostitution surfacing.
“We have been assured that the area is being monitored by the police, but the police can’t do much with more and more buildings being constructed.”
Mr Buhamood urged government planners to address the issue and provide other development projects instead of apartment buildings.
“Unless permits are halted then a mass exodus, similar to when families moved out of Juffair, will happen,” he added.
“New developments should be intended for Bahraini and GCC families and not GCC bachelors.
“Some will say families put more pressure on infrastructure since they are more in numbers, but they are wrong since apartment buildings have an average of 36 people at a time for an average 18 apartments.”
The proposal was passed by the council yesterday and will be referred to the cabinet for review.