Reconstruction of fire-destroyed Mubarakiya Market to be assigned to Kuwait Municipality

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KUWAIT CITY, May 14: The second meeting of the committee, which was formed to deal with the effects of the recent fire in Mubarakiya Market commercial area, ended with assigning the Kuwait Municipality to adopt the initial vision for the reconstruction of the burned part of the Souq Mubarakiya, reports Al-Qabas daily. During the meeting, the Ministry of Finance reviewed its development vision for Mubarakiya area.

Part of Mubarakiya Market destroyed by fire.

It revealed the preparation of an economic study to invest in the site with an annual rental value of KD 3.6 million through B.O.T. projects and the recovery of the amounts paid in its reconstruction. According to the Ministry of Finance, investment in the site may contribute to achieving an expected increase in the state’s revenues. It estimated the affected area to be approximately 5,000 square meters out of the site’s total area. The Kuwait Municipality and the Ministry of Justice were asked to identify the private properties in the area. The application of the 1964 Expropriation Law for the Public Benefit was proposed in the event that the owners of private properties in Mubarakiya area refused to accept development.

Undersecretary of the Ministry of Justice Omar Al-Sharqawi stated that the ministry coordinated with the Kuwait Municipality to search for the unregistered real estate properties in order to identify their owners using the automated number of each plot so that all information related to the ownership of those plots can be extracted. Also, the Minister of Finance inquired about the owners of private properties with the right to object to the implementation of the reconstruction plan in Mubarakiya area. The government of the State of Kuwait has the right to rebuild without referring to them, by applying the law of expropriation for the public benefit and the extent of the legality of this matter, given the length of time that it may take into account the data of those affected. Al-Sharqawi said this issue will be discussed and reported.

Regarding commercial licenses, the Acting Undersecretary of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry Muhammad Al-Enezi explained that coordination with the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) is ongoing to extract the automated numbers of the shops affected by the Mubarakiya fire so that they can obtain these licenses, pending the response of PACI in this regard. It also reported about the existence of many suspended licenses and violating shops. Musaed Al-Asousi, the Director- General of PACI, said they had been approached by the Kuwait Municipality with a request to provide them with the automated numbers of the damaged plots, as they were attached to the data of those plots and the sketch indicating their locations in Mubarakiya area. He stressed that Kuwait Municipality was provided with the required automated numbers, and the committee was also provided with this data in a flash memory.

Regarding the future vision for the development of Mubarakiya area, Al-Asousi suggested the distribution of checkpoints to supervise the violating shops in Mubarakiya area in order to warn them, and then close those shops in the event of non-response. The municipality indicated that there were previous discussions with the Ministry of Justice and the Kuwait Municipality to approve the automated numbers in all documents, and the Secretary-General of the National Council for Culture and Arts linked it to all parties. In this regard, the Secretary General of the National Council for Culture, Arts and Letters (NCCAL) Dr. Essa Al-Ansari explained that the role of NCCAL in this matter is limited to supervision only, as it was previously stated that NCCAL does not have any shops damaged in the Mubarakiya fire. He also confirmed that NCCAL is fully prepared to support the rest of the authorities, and provide advice to them regarding the reconstruction of Mubarakiya area, and preserving its historical identity and distinctive architectural style.

Furthermore, Deputy Director General of the Projects Sector in the Kuwait Municipality Eng. Nadia Al-Shuraideh received a preliminary report from the Kuwait Municipality for the reconstruction of the burned section of the Mubarakiya market through the technical office PACE, due to the need for more time to carry out the survey plan and check it before circulating it to the rest of the authorities. Nonetheless, after receiving the automated numbers from PACI, it discovered the existence of many fake commercial licenses.

Accordingly, the Kuwait Municipality is awaiting the report of the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, in coordination with PACI, which will determine the real commercial licenses located in the buildings, and thus verify the validity of all information and its plans. Through a study, the need to update the possibility of reducing the cost of rebuilding was found.

The opinion of NCCAL will be taken to adopt the unified nature of the shops. It suggested the work of the committee that was composed of several bodies to carry out periodic inspection of the violating shops. Meanwhile, acting on information firemen from the Hilali Firefighting Center rushed to the Mubarakiya Market and put out a limited fire on the roof of a building, reports Al-Rai daily. The daily quoting the Public Relations and Media Department of the Public Fire Services Directorate said the fire was caused by a short circuit in the unit. The fire did not cause any significant damage.

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