Jeddah mayor: Half a million residents in neighborhoods marked for demolition

February 15, 2022
Saleh Al-Turki, mayor of Jeddah governorate.
Saleh Al-Turki, mayor of Jeddah governorate.

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — Saleh Al-Turki, mayor of Jeddah governorate, said that preliminary figures showed that there were half a million people residing in slums and random neighborhoods that were either demolished or marked for demolition.

He said at the Rotana Khalijia program on Monday the number of neighborhoods to be razed for redevelopment accounts for 64 spreading over an area of 214 million square meters, of which 25 million square meters are owned by citizens with title deeds and the rest is government land with unauthorized constructions.

The mayor said that the initial statistical figures indicate that the number of residents in all neighborhoods meant for redevelopment reached half a million.

“However, with the start of implementing the redevelopment plan, it will be possible to determine the actual number of residents in these areas. It is likely that the population density will be less than the initial statistical figures,” he said.

Al-Turki pointed out that the percentage of Saudis varies from neighborhood to neighborhood. “The percentage of Saudis reached only five percent in the neighborhoods of central Jeddah such as Petromin, Gulail and Karantina, while in some neighborhoods such as Harazat and Ajaweed, it reaches 50 percent. Some Saudis cover violators in these areas by registering service counters in the names of citizens.”

The mayor said that 12 random neighborhoods have already been razed out of a total of 64 neighborhoods where the majority of residents are non-Saudis.

He said the removal of neighborhoods with a domination of Saudis has been postponed until studying the possibility of organizing these districts. He noted that the experiment of giving expropriated land to investors did not succeed, and hence it will be allotted to the SPGA.

Al-Turki said that the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development would be responsible for housing all Saudis who had to leave their homes. They will be given housing for a year, with the possibility of buying housing for them, or giving them from the housing units that are in the possession of the ministry or building a new housing for them.

With regard to schools, the mayor said that some school buildings that were in poor condition and that were constructed more than 40 years ago were razed and that was in cooperation with the Ministry of Education, which is in charge of transferring students to new areas.

No hospitals in slum areas have so far been razed, he said while stressing that only unnecessary hospital buildings are being dismantled.

February 15, 2022
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