Social media outcry over parking space closure in Isa Town

Manama : The decision to implement parking fee for residents in one of the government-owned housing projects in Isa Town has created a wave of outcry among Bahrainis on social media recently. This came as a video apparently taken by a Bahraini resident of the housing project in Block 801 in Isa Town went viral online.

The footage shows parking spaces in the buildings, commonly known as the old Isa Town apartments, closed with metal barriers.

The person filming also claims in the video that the parking areas were closed by Eskan Bank and has requested the residents to pay a fee.

“We are the residents of the old Isa Town apartments. We were recently surprised that Housing Ministry and Eskan Bank closed the parking spaces of our buildings with metal barriers. They informed us that we should pay fees. Why should citizens have to pay?” the man behind the camera can be heard saying. 

Bank refutes allegations 

After the video went viral, Eskan Bank issued a statement refuting the allegations. The bank, which works under the umbrella of Housing Ministry and offers housing mortgages to citizens, said, “Facts were ignored to falsify the reality”.

A statement issued by the Bank points out that some of the residents in the area are exploiting the parking lots, allocated originally for apartments there, by blocking it with tin walls. 

These spaces, the bank statement claimed, were then utilised by people for repairing automobiles. 

The current decision to set up a small fee, the statement said, was part of the decision of the Ministerial Committee for Reconstruction and Infrastructure to constructing shaded parking spaces for residents in Block 801 in Isa Town. Eskan Bank said it has prepared a comprehensive plan which would benefit 188 residents. 

The Bank revealed it has set up “a special budget for the project and has set a symbolic amount as a compensation fee to cover a small portion of the cost.”

The bank also confirmed that it had notified the tenants about the BD5 monthly fees. Out of the 188 tenants, only 30 completed the registration to benefit from the shaded parking spaces.

“The bank handed over the spaces to eligible beneficiaries and closed the remaining ones, in a bid to forbid unlawful use. Some tenants sabotaged the newly shaded parking spots and removed the barriers recently, even though un-shaded public parking spots are available in the surroundings of the buildings,” the bank said. 

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