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Deliberations on ‘scattered gravel on roads’ postponed – Parliament session ends with atmosphere of discontent

KUWAIT CITY, April 27: Deliberations on the recommendations of a number of MPs regarding the problems caused by the scattered gravel on roads and highways were postponed Wednesday due to lack of quorum. The Parliament had earlier agreed on allocating two hours of Wednesday’s session to tackle the issue but it ended with an atmosphere of discontent. MPs took turns in voicing their concerns, stating that setting a special session to talk about this issue almost every year is a clear indication that what has been said in previous sessions are nothing but mere words.

Many MPs have repeatedly highlighted the lack of governmental supervision over contractors in charge of road development and maintenance works, as well as the corrupt officials who neglected their duties. Amongst the MPs that talked about the issue during the session was Abdullah Al-Tamimi who asserted this is the Assembly’s responsibility although it must be noted that the problem has been there since the tenure of former governments and Parliaments.

He said millions of cars ply through the roads of Kuwait daily, yet no one is supervising the contractors or holding them responsible for their failure to carry out their tasks efficiently. He asserted the problem in Kuwait is the failure to “put the right person in the right place.” He pointed out that deserving and capable individuals have been disregarded due to political movements, tribal affiliations and other sectarian influences.

Commenting on the issue, Minister of Public Works and State Minister for National Assembly Affairs Dr Ali Al-Omair affirmed the Public Works Ministry has referred the problem to the Public Prosecution to hold accountable all those behind it. He said the prosecution then referred this issue to the Experts Department to look into the technical aspects and to identify those who caused the problem.

He added the ministry will impose “contractual penalties” on consultancy firms and contractors in charge of the problem areas, noting that a number of damaged places were fixed at the expense of the contractors while a warning has been issued to the contract engineer for failure to perform his duties. He also called for the establishment of centers for determining the weight of trucks in order to protect the roads. He said Kuwait has no center for determining the weight of the load of trucks and this has negatively affected the roads. He added this suggestion was presented to the Public Works Ministry about a month ago and it is now working towards the implementation of the proposal

By Ahmed Al-Naqeeb and Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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