$3.7 billion subway to be built in Baghdad
Baghdad officials announced plans today to build a two-line subway system in the Iraqi capital to ease congestion on the roads and fight heavy air pollution. The announcement raises concerns about the security of a public subway transit system in Baghdad, particularly because one of the lines will connect hostile Sunni and Shia neighborhoods. The 7 July 2005 London subway bombings have shown how deadly terror attacks carried out in populated confined spaces can be, so extra security measures will likely have to be implemented once the subway is launched.
The timeline for the project has not been set yet. Coincidentally, as was reported on NowPublic today, the American government is planning to pull out from Iraq by 2011. So, are subway construction plans just another sign of changing times for Iraq?
Iraq plans to build a subway in Baghdad to help cut pollution and ease traffic on the city's chronically clogged streets.
Baghdad Mayor Sabir al-Issawi said in statement released Monday that Iraq's cabinet has earmarked $3.7 billion Cdn for the project.
The subway is the first in Baghdad and will have two lines.
One would run 18 kilometres from Shiite-dominated Sadr City in the east to the predominantly Sunni neighbourhood of Azamiyah in northern Baghdad.
The second line would be cover 20 kilometres and link the mixed neighbourhoods of central Baghdad to the primarily Sunni western suburbs.
Both lines will have 20 stations.