More than half of Bahrain’s major road projects have been completed behind schedule over the past four years, announced Works, Municipalities Affairs, and Urban Planning Minister Essam Khalaf.
The minister told Parliament in writing that 42 projects were delayed, 33 were completed on time and three ahead of schedule from 2015 to 2019, Gulf Daily News reported on Friday.
However, Khalaf, who is set to appear in Parliament during its weekly session on Tuesday, said the delays were out of his hands attributing it to factors such as major design changes, clashes with underground services and lapses by contractors.
“We are committed to completing infrastructure projects, mainly roads which are worth millions of dinars, on time as the country develops,” said Khalaf.
“The work we do is carefully monitored by Bahrain’s three municipal councils and the Capital Trustees Board who closely follow the problems we face and the progress in work.
“During the past four years, out of 79 road projects, 42 were delayed because power cables and water pipes were found on location, and changes requested by other ministries and government bodies mainly to protect archaeological sites.
“Other issues are related to making additions, re-routing other infrastructure services, presence of rocky levels underground, delays in getting work permits from others concerned and some of the plots covered in the project not coming under our ownership.”
Khalaf added that contractors failing to do their job have their contracts terminated with immediate effect.
“This is what was done to one contractor whose performance was below expectation.”
In another response, the minister said treated sewage water was being used for irrigation.
“We are working on new plans to further benefit from treated sewage water to advance the methods we are currently using.”
Labour and Social Development Minister Jameel Humaidan will also appear to respond to questions that he didn’t reply on in writing in due time.