Manama: The much-anticipated one-stop border crossing post at the Bahrain-Saudi border on King Fahd Causeway will be implemented within 12 to 18 months, the Saudi ambassador in Manama has said.
“Work is under way to start the implementation of the one-point stop on both sides of the borders and it should be ready in one year or a year and a half,” Abdullah Al Shaikh was quoted as saying by the Saudi daily Al Yawm on Monday.
Under the one-stop concept, drivers will go through only one post embracing the routine border procedures that include passport control, car clearance and customs.
Drivers going to Saudi Arabia will have to go only through Saudi formalities and those heading to Bahrain will go only through Bahraini procedures, the ambassador added.
Currently, drivers have to go through Bahraini and Saudi formalities, which often results in heavy congestion and long queues of cars.
Plans for the one-stop crossing were postponed last year and Sulaiman Al Yahya, the Saudi director-general of passports, in November 2015 said delays in the negotiations and in carrying out tests were the reasons for the deference of the implementation of the one-stop plan initially scheduled for March.
He said that a new plan to help ease the long queues at the crossing included filling in a form ahead of the travel in order to limit the procedures on the causeway to quick checks. More checkpoints will also be opened, Al Yahya added.
“The one-stop concept will contribute to easing pressure on travellers and will help them save time,” Ahmad Al Luhaidan, the spokesperson for Passports, said in March last year.
In November 2015, Saudi reports said the new one-stop border crossing concept would be applied only to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) citizens.
Holders of non-GCC passport holders will have to go through the two-stop border crossing procedures, the reports said.
The concept calls for dedicating some of the existing lanes at the frontiers to GCC citizens to facilitate the paper work.
King Fahd Causeway, Bahrain’s only terrestrial link with another country, was officially inaugurated on November 26, 1986.
It has become one of the busiest traffic sectors in the Arab world, necessitating drastic changes to ensure the smooth flow of traffic.
Officials said that millions of people, vehicles and trucks have used it since it was opened.
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