Saudi Arabia: Residents push for fast track relocation of factories

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Despite Jeddah Municipality’s initiative to relocate 572 factories outside city limits due to violation of environmental regulations, residents claim that the pace of relocation of factories and workshops from residential areas is moving at a slow pace. Photo- L.E. Daniel Larsson (photo used for illustrative purpose only)

Residents of Jeddah have demanded the authorities to ensure that factories are relocated from residential areas at an accelerated pace.

The Jeddah Municipality has been working closely with Makkah province, Jeddah governorate, the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), Saudi Electricity Company (SET), Civil Defense and the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) to relocate 572 factories outside city limits. Perturbed by violation of environmental regulations, the residents claim that the relocation of factories and workshops from residential areas was moving at a slow pace.

Recently,a large factory in Al-Khumrah district in the south of Jeddah was closed down for not complying with environmental regulations. In the first phase of relocation, the Jeddah Municipality will be focusing its efforts on relocation of industrial units from Al-Nuzha district in the north of Jeddah. Meanwhile, the Jeddah Development and Urban Regeneration Company (JDURC) will chalk out a development plan to rehabilitate the neighborhoods in all urban, environmental, social and health aspects.

More than 15,000 workshops, located in residential areas, will be shifted to Usfan. However, the plans have faced delays as the allocated land is not yet ready. The new location offers an area of more than five million square meters at 70 km north of Jeddah. According to
Samir Mohammad Niazi Murad, an official at the Council of Saudi Chambers, about 200 million square meters of land south of the Jeddah-Makkah Expressway may also be used to relocate these factories.

All new industrial projects would have to strictly follow environmental regulations and obtain approval from the Presidency for Meteorology and Environment. A final license would be issued from the municipality only after completion of these formalities. The demand to push industrial units outside city has also led to calls for development of third industrial city in Jeddah.

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