Azzaman reports that the Iraqi government has earmarked $10 billion for the redevelopment of the low-income township, Sadr City, in Baghdad.
The project, which will take 10 years to be completed is one of the largest housing schemes in the Middle East, according to Baghdad Mayor Saber al-Aysawi.
Aysawi said the huge project will solve the issue of shanty neighborhoods on the outskirts of Baghdad and provide decent housing for more than half a million people.
A large portion of the money will be spent to modernize the run-down Sadr City and turn it into “a flourishing town with all the amenities necessary for civilized people in the twenty-first century,” Aysawi claimed.
He said more than 50 foreign firms had bid for the project but only 11 have been selected to compete.
“These are big firms with major subsidiaries,” he added.
Today (Wed 8th) was the deadline for bidding and the winners should be announced on Thursday.
“The offers will be opened for final selection in the presence of officials from various ministries as well as representatives from the (Iraqi) parliament,” he said.