The municipality acted in haste



THE issue of people stealing public land grew bigger and it reached the neighborhoods, the mountains and the coasts. Lately, Okaz newspaper published with evidence a Saudi man claiming ownership of a public road and adding it to his property.

The headline in the newspaper described the action of the citizen as embezzlement and stealing of public land. The article put the blame on the municipality, which it said covered up this man who closed down a public road.

After two weeks of publishing this article, the reply came from the municipality, which said the road was built on private property belonging to the man. This was the official response of the Jeddah Municipality and it was final. The municipality said on its Twitter account that it had given the site of the road to the man as it was his property.

The article accused the municipality of trying to cover up the truth, instead of taking the initiative to correct the anomaly. What is strange here is that this street is located in a crowded area with many schools, restaurants and stores. The owner added this road to his property and the municipality gave up its right easily.

How did that happen? The municipality was hiding all the reports that came to its headquarters and branch offices.

I think the public relations office at the municipality hastily responded to the newspaper report without verifying the facts. We need a campaign to reclaim all government land that was given to certain people as gifts or that was added by some people to their private property without the municipality’s approval.