$691 million East Sitra City on target
Preliminary work on a $691million mega housing development in Sitra remains on track despite the current challenges posed by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, according to the project’s technical manager.
China Machinery Engineering Corporation (CMEC) last December signed a contract with the Ministry of Housing to initiate the construction of East Sitra City, which will include 3,100 homes as well as health, educational and commercial establishments.
There will also be places of worship, fuel stations, police stations, youth centers, elderly care centres, public parks, and sea front extending over six kilometres, among other supporting facilities. Project technical manager of a CMEC sister company, Hu Fakun, flew into Bahrain earlier this year to supervise the construction preparation for the project; but when he was about to return to China, the COVID-19 pandemic struck.
Other personnel who were also supposed to come to the Kingdom have been unable to due to international flight restrictions; but this has not derailed plans, says Hu, and there is progress in the preparations each day.
“All the international flights were grounded due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic, so I was not able to leave Bahrain and our project management staff also could not get into the country at the same time,” Hu tells TDT. “But the project work has not been affected.
With the help of multimedia, the participants including the owners, subcontractors, material suppliers and design institutes have communicated online. “The offline parties have also gone all out to carry out related work, and the current situation of the project is very good.” A two-and-a-half-year timeline for the delivery of the first phase of housing is on target, says Hu.
“The East Sitra project is divided into three construction phases, and the preparation work for the first phase is in full swing,” he explains. “It is believed that this first phase of housing will be delivered to the owners in the next two years.” Hu stresses that CMEC has adopted all the necessary health and safety measures for preparations not only to continue daily, but for it to be safe for all those involved.
“We have cooperated with the Bahraini government to actively carry out epidemic prevention work,” Hu explains. “CMEC, with the Ministry of Housing and its relevant departments, actively carried out tasks such as review of drawings, application of new technologies and new specifications, procurement plans for materials, and determination of temporary construction plans.
“Despite the epidemic, we are working together with all parties so that the development can proceed smoothly as scheduled. “We have successively issued relevant measures and plans, requiring that the epidemic prevention work be effectively done in an orderly manner.
We organised a large number of personal protective equipment such as masks, goggles and other materials at the very start of the situation. None of the CMEC employees are currently infected with the virus.” Hu says the East Sitra City development will be of great benefit to citizens in the area. “East Sitra City is a beautifully designed project,” he says.
“Whoever lives in it will find peace and harmony.” In December of 2019, Housing Minister Eng. Bassim bin Yaqoob Al Hamar signed a contract for the construction of East Sitra City with CMEC vice-president Fang Yanshui.
Al Hamar described the project as one of the key developments initiated by the Housing Ministry to provide 40,000 housing units across the Kingdom. It is also in line with efforts to hit the 25,000 housing unit target that the government is currently working towards.