Economy, Business And Markets

Khuzestan Governor Castigates Development Plans

Khuzestan Governor Castigates Development PlansKhuzestan Governor Castigates Development Plans

Development plans for Khuzestan Province has led to the expansion of informal settlements, said the province’s governor general, Abdolhasan Moqtadaei on Wednesday.

“Many renovation projects have been undertaken across the province after the end of the Iran-Iraq war in 1988, but none of them satisfied the local community,” he told a meeting of the oil province’s housing council in Ahvaz, IRNA reported.

“Decisions related to reconstruction of Khuzestan should not be made in Tehran because this province differs from all other regions of the country,” he said, without specifying rebuilding in which sphere.

The key province bordering Iraq was at the receiving end of the bloody conflict imposed on Iran by the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. It is believed that a million people on both sides died in the protracted conflict and Iran’s economic loss was put at $1,000 billion.  

Social and cultural values of a region as well as the capabilities of its people need to be taken into account in urban regeneration programs, the governor said.  

Farajollah Khabir, the province’s vice-governor general, said in recent years a shift has taken place when construction plans for Khuzestan are studied. “Only those plans that were compatible with the local culture are acted upon.”

Currently 5,400 housing units are being built across the province, but “the increase in the price of building materials is hindering the construction process.”

The Official called for an increase in home renovation loans from 300 million rials ($9,960) to 500 million rials ($16,600). “This would help build more 1,800 housing units across the province.”

A government scheme to help finance the renovation of old urban areas has been finalized through Bank Maskan -- which specializes in housing loans.

The scheme offers each applicant in major cities 500 million rials ($16,600) loans, while those in urban areas with more than 200,000 residents, and those with a population of less than 200,000 would receive 400 million rials ($13,280) and 300 million rials ($9,960) respectively.

Based on the scheme, 1,800 residents in Khuzestan Province are eligible for higher loans.