Bahrain: Riffa Clock Tower to be moved

The Council approved plans for road expansions

Image used for illustrative purpose. Light Trails On Road In City Against Sky Photo Taken In Al Muharraq, Bahrain.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Light Trails On Road In City Against Sky Photo Taken In Al Muharraq, Bahrain.

Getty Images/ Aditya Kothari / EyeEm

A national monument is set to be relocated to pave way for a major road revamp.

The Southern Municipal Council yesterday unanimously approved plans for road expansions covering three congested roads in Riffa – authorising removal of the Riffa Clock Tower should it stand in the way of development proposals.

The plans, presented by Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf, involve the Riffa Highway, Wali Al Ahd Highway and Shaikh Salman Avenue.

“An average journey during heavy traffic covering the three roads is at least an hour,” said council chairman Bader Al Tamimi.

“The monument is not a holy site even if it is attached to the hearts of many people. It could be relocated should it stand in the way of the planned revamps. We have seen a new entrance gate for Isa Town, a replica Bahrain Map Monument and the Pottery Monument get knocked down – the good of the nation comes first.

“We believe work should also include removing the old oil pipelines to offer more lanes to vehicles.”

Ministry roads planning and design director Maha Hammada told the GDN that the council’s go-ahead would push along the revamp project faster, with the monument relocation from its current site a necessity.

“The plan in its first phase would see us now relocating the monument and replacing it with traffic lights, while we conduct work to improve the whole traffic flow network,” she said.

“We still need approval as to where it should be relocated to, with the council’s go-ahead, and we also work with the Oil Ministry on the possibility of removing the old pipelines on our expense.

“Detailed budgets for the project alongside exact designs are in the works as we step up work to ease traffic congestion in and around Riffa.”

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