JEDDAH, 8 June 2006 — Members of the municipal councils in the Qatif region are currently going round to check in person on citizens’ needs and requests. Last Sunday the members made their second visit to Tarout Island.
The visiting plan is divided among the five areas of the region: Qatif City, the western villages, Sehat, Tarout Island and Safwa.
Jafar Al-Shayeb, head of the municipal council, said by phone that the council members had been meeting twice a month. “Each time we meet, we go out and actually meet people face to face,” he said.
Al-Shayeb explained that on their visits, they go to the municipalities, meet the officials and check the work procedures as well as meeting the citizens and hearing their complaints.
On their last visit to Tarout, the members heard several demands and complaints from the people. The most common was from a group of citizens asking for compensation for land taken from them 15 years ago.
“Those citizens have the official documents that prove their ownership of the land,” said Al-Shayeb.
Another complaint concerned the road that connects the area with other regions, mainly with Qatif. Surprisingly such a major road has been neglected for more than 30 years now.
Al-Shayeb said that the Ministry of Transportation refused to maintain the road, saying that it was the job of the municipality. The municipality, on the other hand, says that it has no budget for maintaining such a major road.
“Our job is to coordinate between them and find a clear solution to the problem,” said Al-Shayeb.
The municipal council members have divided themselves into five committees: administrative and financial, technical, investment, lands and planning, hygiene and environment. The council will launch a website www.qatifmb.org in a week’s time in order to inform the public of new developments.
The municipal councils have been set up in all regions of the Kingdom following nationwide elections last year.