Kuwait roads threat to people’s security, safety.

The Minister of Public Works, Dr. Amani Bouqammaz, has drawn a road map to address the deep problems that roads in the country have suffered from for decades, starting with opening the way for international companies to participate in maintenance, and re-evaluating the work of all contractors, reports Al-Qabas daily. During the last ten days the ministry looked into the repair and maintenance works, and the guarantees of the negligent companies have been immediately liquidated in case of any defect in the projects entrusted to them while she emphasized that “the state of the country’s roads and streets has reached the emergency stage.”

Dr. Amani Bouqammaz.

Bouqammaz told Al-Qabas daily that the “flying gravel” crisis that exhausted road users and cost them a lot of their money and caused damage to vehicles is not new indicating that the problem began 18 years ago, and worsened over the years, due to bad weather conditions, poor planning, maintenance, and the absence of quality control during and after laying asphalt, stressing that her ministry “has sustainable and immediate solutions to confront the problem, and their implementation will begin.

Dr. Bouqammaz described the state of the country’s roads as having “entered the emergency phase,” stressing that she has a “new plan and vision that will ensure, if implemented, that the problems currently afflicting the roads will not recur.”

Bouqammaz told the daily most important features of this plan includes opening the way for international companies to participate in the laying and maintenance of roads in the country, and re-evaluating the work of all contractors who participated in the laying and maintenance work during the last ten years. Dr. Bouqammaz attributed the beginning of the emergence of the “gravel flying” crisis in the country to 2005, pointing to official books confirming the emergence of the problem in two regions after the rains that the country witnessed at the time, and that the problem arose again in 2011 and 2013, and since that date, special committees have been formed to follow up the issue.

The sources explained that this narration proves that the phenomenon has been going on for years and it is difficult to determine its causes, but if we want to focus on specific reasons, it is poor planning at the level of road maintenance, poor performance, and lack of quality control during the laying operations themselves. She indicated that the ministry has sustainable and immediate solutions to confront the problem, indicating that the beginning of the move towards implementation was from the government center for examinations, quality control and laboratories, as the basis on which the road development and treatment process will be built, pointing out that the ministry has prepared a database for all the country’s roads, and requested a list of examinations. proactive, in addition to preparing interactive maps in this regard. And she pointed out that the contracts were regional in the past, and it is a procedure that the ministry is forced to implement now due to the emergency conditions in the roads, but the vision that is being implemented in the new contracts is based on relying on performance indicators, and therefore the contractor will be keen to perform well from the beginning, because He will be responsible for what he implements for a period of 5 years, not as a warranty period interspersed with work orders issued by the Ministry to the contractor only.

She stressed that if the ministry discovers mis-implementation or a problem on the road, and the executing contractor does not deal with it before the ministry intervenes, the guarantees and deductions will be immediately liquidated directly from the contractor. She explained that her specialization in “risk management” made her work to anticipate some problems, such as dealing with the rain problem for this year, which is currently being done at the level of roads by working on two parallel lines – developing a sustainable mechanism for road repair, brushing and closing potholes, which are many with Unfortunately, therefore, if the ministry releases 5 or 10 teams a day to fill these potholes, road users will not feel any change. Dr Bouqammaz stated that Kuwait has 7,500 km of roads, of which 750 km are highways, and 6,500 km are internal roads, which means that it is a large network, all of which unfortunately suffer greatly.

Abdullah Al-Duaij, a researcher and civil engineer, said, “The road problem has now gone beyond the emergency stage, and has reached the point of considering it a national security problem, as it poses a threat to people’s security and safety.” Al-Duaij added during the meeting with the Minister of Works that he had previously supervised the laying of some roads, and submitted a mini-report to Minister Bouqammaz. Public Works officials said that the volume of spending on highways alone over the past 8 years amounted to 2.6 billion dinars. Five reasons behind the crisis include poor planning of maintenance work, absence of supervision during the implementation of the mulching operations, failure of the quality control mechanism for mixtures, maintenance of surface layers only and not holding those responsible for the volatility accountable. Five steps to ensure treatment include opening the way for international companies, liquidating the guarantees of defaulting contractors, developing a quality inspection and control center, tightening control over asphalt plants and a comprehensive database of road conditions.

Source- Arab Times.

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