Locals in Qara Tapa sub-district in the province of Diyalah are pleased that local authorities in a short period of time implemented infrastructure projects of installation of sewerage, paving the blocks and roads with Asphalt, proper sidewalks, and wider green spaces in public parks.
Since end of 2019 up today, the local administration has managed to implement 11 public service projects and some others to follow, a campaign of reconstruction the town missed in the last two decades, Qara Tapa municipality said.
Mahmood Hamadi, a resident of Mashrou’ neighborhood, said in the beginning of the week sewage was installed in the bloc and later paved by asphalt, “a joy for the family have not seen such a service in the bloc ever.”
“In summer, odor of improper sewage and mud ponds in winter were making life hard for us while now the kids can go out and play with no fear of dust and mus. We can breathe a clean air,” he added.
“We can breathe a clean air,” he added.
Hammadi said that sidewalks are restored, spaces were allocated for park and greenery which is a pleasure because it is the first time ever to have such services properly.
Qara Tapa, meaning the black hill, is part of Khanaqin district and home to 50,000 Kurds, Arabs and Turkmen in ten neighborhoods and some villages surrounding it. Qara Tapa was one of the neglected towns in Iraq in the last twenty years.
In 2019, central government and local authorities in Diyala have allocated a budget for 11 projects of roads, health sector, sewerage, pavement of roads and greenery.
Mohammed Karim, director of Qara Tapa municipality said almost all blocs have sewage and paved with asphalt this year. More budget in July to come for greenery, fountains and decoration of the city entrance beside a two-lane road, he added.
The funds come from reconstruction box, development of regions and Diyala administration plus local income, Hamadi said.
“We will take services to every single block,” said Wasfi Murtaza, mayor of Qara Tapa. “The projects should have been implemented in 2020 but part of it was delayed due to Corona Virus. No bloc will be left without services.
“We will take services to every single block,”
Murtaza said current year plan focuses on green spaces. “We are paying attention to gardens, parks, more greenery and entrance of the city,” he added.
Qara Tapa is part of the disputed territories between Baghdad and Erbil that extends from Khanqin on the border with Iran to Kirkuk and from there up to Shingal in Mosul on the border with Syria.
After toppling of Saddam Hussein regime in 2003, article 140 of Iraqi constitution in 2005 was outlined as a framework for the determination of the fate of the disputed territories.
The three-stage process outlines the normalization of the areas, conducting a census, and holding a referendum to know the will of the people to join Baghdad federal government or Iraq's Kurdistan region government KRG. Up today, part of the first stage has been implemented.
Kurdish forces were controlling the disputed territories up to October 2017 when Iraqi forces retook control in October 2017 by (Law Enforcement) operation following the declaration of ousting so-called Islamic State ISIS from Iraq.