Vice den park in Manama gets revamp approval

Al Bawara Public Park to include sports facilities in municipal plan

The park in Manama is said to have become a vice den for people from different nationalities
The park in Manama is said to have become a vice den for people from different nationalities

Municipality officials in Manama have given the initial approval to a $531,000 (BAD 200,000) revamp plan for an abandoned public park in Manama that has allegedly been used as a vice den, Trade Arabia News Service reports.

According to councillors, the facility has been left untouched for 10 years and has become a haven for stray animals and illegal activities.

Al Bawara Public Park, located off Exhibition Avenue in Hoora, was originally earmarked for development last September, but was delayed by design changes following the intervention of area MP Adel Al Asoomi and councillor Ghazi Al Dossary.

Both have demanded that the 3,963m ² area be given a major overhaul and said it was the perfect location to house sports facilities that local residents have been demanding.

But the Manama Municipality said additional sports facilities were not in line with municipal usage and instead has given the initial approval to go ahead with more balanced plans.

Proposals for the park include a snooker hall, tennis court, football and basketball pitches, female and male gyms, a swimming pool, children’s playground and restaurants.

“We have told the area’s representatives that they have two options: either accept the new balanced sports-municipal plans or ask the Royal Court to transfer deeds to the General Organisation for Youth and Sport and this takes years,” said Manama Municipal Council vice-chairman Mohammed Mansoor.

“Delaying the project doesn't serve anyone and I think that the current plans by the municipality are very good and fulfil the needs of everyone,” he continued.

“We have given the municipality the initial go ahead and Al Asoomi and Al Dossary can later change the plans so that they strike a balance between municipal and sports services. If they push for more sports services, the project will be halted and that's something no one wants to see,” he added.

Mansoor also said the park had been a constant problem since a sheesha cafe was evicted from the location 10 years ago.

“The park has since turned into a vice den for people from different nationalities, besides getting infested by insects and occupied by stray animals,” he said.

“The number of such unwanted occupants is increasing and, if work doesn't begin soon, cleaning it up will cost more money than that earmarked,” he added.

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