Kerman, April 13, IRNA -- Construction work on 800 residential units in the quake-devastated city of Bam in this southeastern province kicked off here Tuesday in the presence of President Mohammad Khatami. Rls. 120 billion has been allocated for the project.
The president, who arrived in the city earlier today, also inspected other housing projects being carried out in the city.
Bam residents, who had the opportunity of talking to the president, asked him to speed up the construction of houses for victims rendered homeless by the quake.
Khatami also visited a girls school in the city. He also inspected construction work on a 96-bed hospital which is to rise on 7,800 square meters of land.
Rls 50 billion has been allocated for the project, 25 percent of which is complete. The hospital is expected to be completed by the end of summer.
President Mohammad Khatami arrived in Bam earlier Tuesday to oversee progress on the city's reconstruction.
He and his entourage were welcomed upon their arrival at the city's airport by the provincial governor-general and several local officials.
Minister of Housing and Urban Development Ali Abdolalizadeh, Minister of the Interior Abdolvahed Moussavi Lari, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance Ahmad Masjed-Jamei and Minister of Health Masoud Pezeshkian along with the chief of the headquarters in charge of reconstruction of Bam are accompanying the president in this trip.
The visit is the Iranian president's second to the devastated city since December 26, 2003 when it was hit by a devastating quake which almost leveled the city. Over 30,000 people were reported to have died while thousands of others were injured.
From Bam, President Khatami will proceed to the southwestern province of Bushehr to inaugurate several development projects.
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