Iraq’s capital Baghdad needs 10 new large residential projects to tackle a festering housing problem caused by the war and illegal building, its Governor has said. 

The new projects could be similar to “Bismaya City”, which is under construction near Baghdad and comprises 100,000 houses, Mohammed Al-Atta said in a statement carried by Aliqtisad News and other Iraq publications on Wednesday. 

Al-Atta said Baghdad is suffering from “severe services shortage and crowding” because of the emergence of thousands of illegal housing projects after the war. 

“Illegal houses have turned into large cities that lack services and increase the crowding problem in Baghdad…there is a need to demolish all those buildings and construct 10 new residential cities similar to Besmaya,” Al-Atta said. 

Hanwha of South Korea was awarded the multi-billion-dollar ‘Bismaya City’ project 10 years ago but it has recently stopped work due to financial rifts with the Iraqi government. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)