Municipal nod for private investors

PRIVATE investors could take part in municipal activities after the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry approved a proposal by the Northern Municipal Council.

In February, the council had approved a move to privatise public parks and gardens.

The council’s financial, administrative and legislative committee chairwoman Zaina Jassim said the move will help reduce the huge financial burden borne by municipalities on managing and maintaining these facilities.

“We agree with the concept of this proposal,” Minister Essam Khalaf told the council in a written response.

“It is worth noting that when entry fees were imposed, it led to a reduction in vandalism at the parks and gardens whilst also reducing maintenance costs.”

The minister said that the suggestions would be studied by the ministry’s Municipalities Affairs Agency and other concerned and specialised government bodies.

Southern Municipal Council chairman Bader Al Tamimi had spearheaded a similar proposal last year.

At the time he had told the GDN that the municipal facilities were draining government funds without bringing in any actual income.

In 2018, the Southern Municipal council imposed entrance fees at major parks and gardens in its governorate.

However, the Northern Municipal Council declined to follow suit, with members saying the parks were too rundown to charge entry fees for.

Facilities at public parks in Muharraq were sealed in January 2019 following complaints of vandalism, looting and anti-social activities.

As a result toilets, restrooms, storerooms, and prayer areas were also shuttered to prevent further destruction.




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