The Kurdish Globe
By Shvan Goran-Duhok
The KRG Prime Minister Nerchirvan Barzani pays a visit to Duhok and presents strategic projects to the province
The Prime Minister announced that Duhok will be another bridge between Kurdistan Region and the outside world, and described the project as a "strategic" and important gate. "Airports for a closed region like Kurdistan are alternatives for seaports" said Nechirvan Barzani at the groundbreaking ceremony of Duhok International Airport.
He said that the airport will not only serve Duhok and Kurdistan Region people, but will serve Ninawa and probably border areas in Syria and Turkey as well. Barzani revealed that this project is the stage number one of a series of strategic projects in Duhok and promised that the cornerstone of a strategic oil refinery project will be laid in the province in the near future.
Duhok International Airport, which had been decided on in the Fifth Cabinet, will be the third airport in the Kurdistan Region to which travelers will have direct access to the province after it's completion in 2015. The other two airports are in Erbil and Slemani, which already provide direct flights to more than 25 destinations in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.
Academics and businessmen in Duhok regard this project a crucial factor in booming trading and tourism sectors in Duhok and the Region. "The airport will be a shortcut to tourists as well as the investors who seek investment in the area." said Ubaidallah Dawood, the General Director of Tourism in Duhok province, adding that people will have an easier way to travel around the world through the airport.
The airport building facilities have been designed by the Lebanese Dar Al-Handasa Engineering and ADPI of France. The Turkish Makyol is the construction company which is supervised by a team from South Korea's Incheon International Airport on behalf of the KRG.
The KRG has allocated US 400$ million on a 21 square kilometer land in the west of Duhok city. It's planned to be completed in two and a half years.
KRG will renovate Lalish Temple
On the same day, the Prime Minister visited Lalish Temple in Shekhan district and promised that the KRG will renovate Lalish Temple, the sacred place of Kurdish Ezidies minority. "The KRG sees serving Lalish as a duty." said Nechirvan Barzani in his meeting with Mir Tahseen Bag, the Mir of Ezidies, and Spiritual Council of Ezidies, reiterating that their demands will certainly be met.
Mir Tehseen Bag, mir of Ezidies showed his and all Ezidies" appreciations to the Prime Minister for paying this visit the Lalish and making this decision regarding the renovation of Lalish Temple.
The KRG will allocate US $28 million in two phases for renovating the temple. In the first stage $17m will be allocated and the renovation process will be carried by a specialist company and supervised by a consultative committee. In the second stage the KRG will allocate US $11 million to begin installing the basic services in the temple.
Lalish Temple is few kilometers north of Shekhan district, 60 Km north of Mosul. It is the most sacred place to Kurdish Ezidies in Kurdistan region and Iraq. Hundreds of them all around Kurdistan Region and Iraq visit it during their pilgrimage season in April. And now it's considered as one of the important religious sights in The Kurdistan Region to which even non Ezidies have regular visits.
Important decisions in Zakho
On the second day, Nechirvan Barzani paid a visit to Zakho district and held a meeting with the district officials and inspected some underway projects. He reiterated that giving more authority to districts and sub districts paves the way to present better services and projects.
The Prime Minister visited Barzan International Stadium project, 50% of which is completed so far. The stadium will be able to host international matches after its completion and will obtain the international certificate for this purpose. Barzan Stadium is designed according to developed and international standards and is now being constructed by some specialist companies and will have seating capacity of 22,000.
Regarding the renovation process of Dalal Bridge and Zakho citadel, Nechirvan Barzani reiterated that any renovation process of the historical sights should be under the supervision of UNISCO. During a visit to Zakho University, The Prime Minister showed the KRG's readiness to provide the new university with the equipments they need and decided to allocate a sum of money for improving the university campus.
Ground water should not be used any more
In the last stage of his visit to Duhok province, The Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani visited Bardarash district and held a meeting with officials and the people of district, and decided on several strategic projects in the area.
Nechirvan Barzani reiterated in the meeting that agricultural lands and plains must not be used for residential buildings, but the enlarging process of the town should go towards the hills in the eastern of Bardarash district. Barzani promised the people that the government will present better services to the area. "This area is an old area and was one of the oldest sub districts in Iraq" he said.
In another part of his word, The Prime Minister said that ground water should never be used any more in the area. "Other sources of water should be found" he said.
Bardarash district is located between the two rivers of Xazir in the west, and Upper Zap in the east, but is still using ground water for drinking and agriculture purposes.