Among all Capital cities of the region Kuwait City seems to be the only one that does not seem to play a major role in diversifying the resources of the national economy and increasing the gross domestic product through various projects and continuous revitalization of the tourism and entertainment movement and the establishment of service facilities that attract citizens, residents and visitors.
All countries of the world in general and the Gulf states in particular have worked over the years to change their outlooks pleasant to the eye but Kuwait City continues to suffer from neglect and the situation went from bad to worse due to the dilapidated buildings adjacent to the Kuwait Towers, uncivilized scenes that distort the image of the capital, garbage thrown indiscriminately in some back streets, as well as the bachelors overcrowding in Bneid Al-Qar, Sharq, Fahd Al-Salem Street and Al-Mirqab, where hundreds of them live in old dilapidated houses and buildings, and some spread clothes on the balconies of these buildings without in violation of the environmental laws, while the concerned authorities until now have been doing nothing, reports a local Arabic daily.
Surprisingly the development plan of the city was had the approval of the consecutive governments for the past 25 years but continues to collect dust in the government drawers for reasons well-known to those who are concerned with this file. All that has been achieved until now is the establishment of real estate projects and high-rise buildings towering over dilapidated buildings and demolished or collapsed houses.
The daily toured the city to get a first-hand look at some these areas and discovered the development strategy is moving at a turtle speed due to the government red-tape on the one hand, and the government’s lack of seriousness in changing the face of the capital and turn it into an attractive city like Dubai, Riyadh, Doha and Muscat and other countries in the region.
One look around the Capital, you see dilapidated buildings that distort the general view, which have become a haven for expatriate workers in several areas, most notably Sharq, Al-Qibla, Al-Mirqab and Bneid Al-Qar. Some of them are even a few kilometers away from the country’s cultural landmarks.
Observers stressed that the capitals in all countries of the world represent the center of the state and the main city in which all the important sites that belong to the country are concentrated, whether they are economic, cultural or touristic, so that they are the most strategic in terms of location, area and nature of the population, housing and services, but neglect and the absence of solutions contributed to the mushrooming of dilapidated buildings, homes teeming with marginal labor and sight-polluting views.
Observers and citizens pointed out that Kuwait City contains a state ministries complex, major government companies and hotels inhabited by the country’s guests, including delegations, officials and visitors, but most of its streets are still teeming with hundreds of old and dilapidated buildings, in addition to the lack of interest in its streets and archaeological neighborhoods.
The citizens demanded urgent and serious action to stop the manifestations and demolish buildings that distort the public view and apply the law to violators who distort the civilized landscape, since the capital represents the beating heart of the country, which must restore its position through development, forestation and modernization of its infrastructure to appear in a manner that mimics modernity and development.
The director of the legal department in the municipality, Counselor Raja’an Al-Gharib, confirmed the right of the municipality to immediately remove the entire building or some of its parts in the event of a crack or sudden collapse, after preparing a report on the construction status.
Al-Rajaan indicated that the Article 33 of the decision granted the municipality the right to remove the building or some of its parts if it would endanger the safety of its occupants or others, after preparing a report on the construction status, noting that Article 34 took into account that prior to demolition, the value of the repairs and demolished buildings should be submitted.
He explained that with regard to abandoned and uninhabited buildings, each case should be presented separately in order to be able to express an opinion on it.
In this regard here are the 5 demands
1 – Formation of a specialized body for the development of the capital
2 – Involving the private sector in the development plan
3 – Combating manifestations of visual pollution
4 – Develop a plan to stimulate tourism
5 – Demolition of dilapidated housing and development of areas
The Secretary-General of the Council of Ministers, Counselor Wael Al-Asousi, explained in a letter to the Minister of Municipality regarding the project to beautify Kuwait City, a copy of which was obtained by the daily, that based on the decision of the Council of Ministers taken at its extraordinary meeting on September 16, 2021, to assign the Kuwait Municipality to coordinate with the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs Fisheries, the Environment Public Authority, the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport, and the bodies it deems appropriate to complete the works related to beautifying the city of Kuwait and highlight its cultural features, and to seek the assistance of whomever it deems appropriate — the experts, initiatives, cooperative societies, public benefit societies and the private sector in this regard, and to provide the Council of Ministers with the appropriate perceptions in this regard, within two weeks of its date.
He added the council, in its meeting on January 31, 2022, was informed of the report submitted by the municipality regarding the measures taken by it in cooperation with: Capital, Kuwait University. Concerning the project of beautifying Kuwait City and highlighting its cultural features in accordance with the future vision that preserves its historical identity and contributes to creating a sustainable urban environment in line with the environmental, economic, cultural and recreational aspects, and what was done in coordination with the Ministry of Finance to include the aforementioned project within the budget of the fiscal year 2022-2023, and assigning it to complete its efforts in this regard With the relevant authorities, owners of initiatives and the private sector.
Objectives of the capital beautification project
1 – Highlighting the cultural landmarks of Kuwait City
2 – Highlighting the historical, cultural and touristic elements
3 – Facilitating the identification and access to the country’s landmarks
4 – Transforming the capital into a healthy city
5 – Creating a sustainable and smart city
6 – Making executive designs for integrated streets and gardens
7 – Creating a safe and healthy environment for pedestrians and cyclists
8 – Overcoming the obstacles facing people with disabilities through the application of the Kuwaiti code