Sat 14 Dec 2019

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A new syndicate of architects and engineers to manage reconstruction in al-Bab

Excavation in Al-Bab, Aleppo, 10 October 2019 (Al-Bab’s local council)

Excavation in Al-Bab, Aleppo, 10 October 2019 (Al-Bab’s local council)

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Situated in the north-east of Aleppo, Al-Bab city has become a major site of competition between various plays: the Syrian regime and its allies (Iran and Russia), Turkey and its allies in the Syrian opposition, the so-called Islamic State (ISIS), and the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD). The city’s buildings, vital installations and infrastructure were largely destroyed in the numerous clashes the city has witnessed.

Opposition groups, supported by the Turkish government that carried out a cross-border operation dubbed “Euphrates Shield”, gained control of the city back in August 2016, at the expense of massive destruction in the city.

With the improvement of the security situation in the city, the flow of capital investment increased. Investors found the courage to launch their projects, leading, eventually, to galvanizing reconstruction efforts in the city.

Aimed at organizing the engineering works in the city and to ensure it complies to international standards, a new syndicate for architects and engineers was established with the help of the local council of al-Bab.

Walid Osman, an engineer and president of syndicate, told Enab Baladi, that the main target of the association is to organize and improve the engineering works in the city.

He added that they also seek to provide architectural, engineering, construction plans as well as drafting electrical drawings for the plans.

All “in compliance with international standards, regulations and norms,” he continued, in order to limit squatter housing that poses a serious threat for public safety.

The association is independent from local authority, according to Osman. Its mandate extends to managing all engineering works in the city including organizing the files of the building permits, offering engineering consultancies, inspecting building, and providing practical engineering plans and analysis in correspondence with the urban plans of al-Bab.

The syndicate also aims to organize the affairs of engineers residing in al-Bab according to their field of specialization, and to encourage them to participate in the process of reconstruction.

Only months into its establishment the syndicate already counts 40 engineers of diverse specialties among its members. The syndicate has modified the building specifications and its inspection procedures. Moreover, despite the threat of mines, the association has managed to inspect many buildings in coordination with the demolition committee of the city. It has also modified and expanded the zoning plans for the city’s industrial zone.

Nearly 2,600 buildings in al-Bab were partially damaged or destroyed during the conflict, of which 1,000 buildings were repaired, and another 1,300 were newly built, according to Osman.

Imad al-Ali, the director of the building-permits department in the local council of Bazza’a city, explained to Enab Baladi the procedure of obtaining a building permit through the directorate of the local municipality.

The applicant, he said, should bring a copy of their identity card, and a statement of ownership. The application should be reviewed and approval granted within 15 days, if no objections are submitted. According to al-Ali, the applicant the administrative costs for the building permit in the town is 100 SYP per square meter.

The services provided by the syndicate compliments those provided by the local council, supported by the Turkish government, which responsible for road and street maintenance, as well as setting up telecommunications towers in the city.

Al-Bab lies 30 kilometers from the Turkish borders and 38 km from Aleppo city, and is administratively part of the province of Aleppo. Its pre-2011 population was at 160,000 and is estimated to be 137,565 in 2019.

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