The construction department in Basra has initiated a project to tile two streets in the province at a cost of nearly $340,000 as part of the 2008 provincial development projects.
"On Wednesday, the department has launched a project to tile the streets of al-Amanat and al-Shuhadaa in Shatt al-Arab district, eastern Basra," Engineer Ammar Sabah told Aswat al-Iraq - Voices of Iraq - (VOI).
Work includes the removal of the outer layer and an examination of soil samples, after which the two streets will be flattened and tiled, the engineer explained, noting that the estimated completion period of the project is three months.
The project will reduce traffic congestions and ease the flow of vehicles in the streets, he added.The Shiite province of Basra, 590 km south of the Iraqi capital Baghdad, has an estimated metropolitan population of 2,300,000 in 2008. Basra is the cradle of the first civilization of Sumer. It has the seven main Iraqi ports. The first built in Islam 14 A.H. (After Hegira), the city played an important role in early Islamic history. The area surrounding Basra has substantial petroleum resources and many oil wells. The city's oil refinery has a production capacity of about 140,000 barrels per day (bpd). Basra is in a fertile agricultural region, with major products including rice, maize corn, barley, pearl millet, wheat and dates as well as livestock. A network of canals flowed through the city, giving it the nickname "The Venice of the Middle East" at least at high tide.
(Voices of Iraq)