A project to expand Sadr City, a key suburb of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, involves the construction of nearly 240,000 houses, the official Iraqi news agency has reported. 

The Baghdad Secretariat (municipality) has already received funds for part of the project from the state budget, the agency said, quoting the Secretariat’s information manager Mohammed Al-Rabei. 

Rabei said nearly 80 percent of the project would be completed by mid-2023 and that it also comprises roads, electricity, water and other infrastructure facilities and services. 

“The Sadr City expansion project is proceeding on schedule…we aim to construct more than 240,000 houses to match the increase in the population,” he added. 

He said the houses would be built in stages and that Phase 1 involves the construction of around 190,000 houses by the UK Broadway Construction Company. 

The Iraqi cabinet has endorsed the development and extension of the City that was formerly known as “Saddam City” and has a population of nearly one million.  

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)