KUWAIT CITY, Feb 28: MPs Osama Al-Shaheen, Mohamed Al-Dalal, Jaman Al-Harbash, Abdullah Fahad and Wahab Al-Babatain sent a letter on the traffic congestion issue which costs the State $4 billion annually, as part of the incoming letters item in the parliamentary session slated for March 7, 2017.
In a press conference at the Parliament on Tuesday, Al-Shaheen disclosed the letter includes a request to instruct the Public Utilities Committee to deliberate on the traffic problem and present short, medium and long-term solutions for submission to the Parliament in May.
Al-Shaheen pointed out Kuwait ranked fourth globally in the average number of peak hours that drivers spend stuck in traffic. He asserted the country is facing a crisis as its roads have exhausted 85 percent of their capacity. He said the Ministry of Public Works had earlier announced that the streets in the country can accommodate up to 900,000 vehicles only, yet there about 1.6 million vehicles currently plying through these streets. He added the traffic problem is made worse by the absence of an efficient mass transportation system and innovative solutions.
Meanwhile, MP Riyadh Al-Adsani said he previously presented a bill to repeal the decision to increase the prices of gasoline, electricity and water. He called on the government to focus on issues concerning citizens and regulate prices in order to lessen the financial burdens of the people especially the low income earners.
He stressed the price hike wave has negatively affected the household budget due to the government’s policy and decisions to raise petrol and diesel prices. He warned that approval of the new electricity and water charges will worsen the situation because of its negative impact on consumer goods, construction, medical services and national products, among others. He noted the next phase is very important and it requires approval of his proposal to cancel the gasoline price hike decision, indicating the price of gasoline should be increased only through a law.
In another development, MP Mohamed Al-Huwailah has submitted a proposal to disallow disconnection of water and electricity services unless a court ruling in this regard is issued. In the explanatory note of his proposal, the lawmaker said the Ministry of Electricity and Water cuts off water and electricity services to put pressure on consumers to pay their bills. He added this step harms the interests of the public; hence, the need to approve the proposal to protect the citizens.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff