The Urban Planning and Development Authority (UPDA) has signed an agreement with a Japanese company to implement the country’s comprehensive urban development project in line with Qatar Vision 2030, a senior official has said.
The three-year-long project will be supervised by a committee headed by the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Urban Planning HE Abdulrahman bin Khalifa al-Thani, UPDA general manager Ali al-Abdullah said.
He was speaking as a guest in the latest episode of Lakum al-Karar (The Decision is Yours) programme broadcast on Qatar TV yesterday.
Some 78% of the audience of the programme felt the urban development policy being implemented is in line with Qatar’s vision for its future.
Al-Abdullah said the agreement with the Japanese company was signed after almost a year-and-a-half of study and added the evaluation of the first phase was underway “to analyse the credibility of the results.”
He said the focus of development would be on Doha and Rayyan, adding that a Singaporean company has made a study on the development of Al-Khor and Wakrah.
He asserted that the development plan would place Qatar as a “civilised country” with a GCC character, taking into account the religious factor. “Our main concern is to build a developed country that attracts investors from all fields,” al-Abdullah said.
He acknowledged that there was “unintentional delay” in some of the projects, because of the hosting of some major events, “but we were able to catch up with the schedule.”
The official said the road plans would take into consideration the “horrible numbers” of casualties in traffic accidents.
“For example, we are going to place traffic signs in co-ordination with Ashghal.”
He said the urban development plan must be flexible, considering the country’s growing number of residents.
Al-Abdullah said the global economic crisis would not affect Qatar’s public projects and new plans would be announced in the coming years.
“One of them,” he said “was the establishment of new industrial areas in addition to improving the present ones, taking into consideration the environmental aspects.”
“The acute shortage of parking areas in some parts of the city will come to an end once the towers under construction are completed.”
Al-Abdullah said many of the designated parking lots were now being used by contractors and 70% of the buildings in the area were still under construction.
He said that the authority has completed two multi-storied parking projects with a capacity for 1,100 cars. He also said the Grand Hamad Street is facing acute shortage of parking space. “Similar plans are underway in that area too,” he said.
The official denied that large-scale demolition of buildings was the reason for rising rents in Qatar saying the inflation was felt worldwide. He said Qatar population was increasing which was one of the reasons for the rents going up. But the situation was improving as more housing projects were coming on stream, he added.
He said the demolitions were carried out legally in line with an Emiri decree. The owners of houses were also properly compensated.
When asked about the demolition of a QR60mn hotel, the official said: “We are learning from our mistakes and in every case, the alternative project planned would be a better one and in this case, the structure was located near the airport.”
Referring to the location of the new airport which the audience said was still inside populated area, the official said the UPDA was not the only agency involved in deciding the location.
“The location was decided some 15 years ago and if the new airport was built far away from the city, you would still have blamed me for that.
“Personally, I think the location of the new airport is ideal because 85% of the country’s population live in Doha and Rayyan.”
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