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Fort museum work sparks a row

WORK on a new museum next to Bahrain Fort, Karbabad, could be brought to a halt by the Northern Municipal Council, which says it has been excluded from the decision making process.

The council recently found out that the Information, Works and Housing, and the Municipalities and Agriculture Ministries have decided between them to carry out the project without its permission.

An initial decision to stop work, which began two months ago, was taken yesterday and the final decision will be taken tomorrow at the council's weekly meeting.

"Permission was given to the Information Ministry by the Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry's Agriculture Affairs Under-Secretary Dr Juma Al Ka'abi without anything being presented to us," said council technical committee chairman Juma Al Aswad.

"The Information Ministry then asked the Works and Housing Ministry to begin work, which it did.

"We were surprised to see workers at the site and after asking the municipality, they were stunned too, because they too had no idea about it.

"The lands near the fort are owned by Almoayyed family, but were acquired by the Municipalities and Agriculture Ministry for government use a few months ago, which was recently published in the Official Gazette."

Mr Al Aswad said people were asking the council about the work being carried out, but it did not have an answer.

"The council is yet to receive details about the project for members to approve," he said.

"We don't have anything against the project, which we believe is done according to recommendations by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), but the way it has been done is unacceptable.

"We are sorry to say that work will be halted until we see those responsible to explain how did they take their decisions without our consent, which violate the municipal law.

"Councillors agree that work will be halted for a short time because the project is important, but officials must learn a lesson about respect and they will need to explain their actions to Unesco. "This has been going on for some time and it has not only angered us but the Manama Municipal Council too, which is also in charge of land there."



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