Broken roads repair has begun on ‘war footing’

‘We are fully aware of citizens, residents predicament’

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KUWAIT CITY, Feb 14: Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Dr Noura Al-Mashaan has stressed “the need for rapid development in the documentary and institutional cycle to keep pace with the requirements for project implementation with the required quality and efficient operation and maintenance, in addition to providing qualified national manpower capable of managing our facilities and implementing our projects,” reports Al-Rai daily. The minister made the statement at the opening of the ninth international workshop on the health and safety of structures, organized by the Kuwait Society of Engineers in partnership with the Society for Monitoring the Health and Safety of Civilian Structures at the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Cultural Center. Al-Mashaan hopes that “the road repair process will be completed as quickly as possible because damaged roads are the most detrimental to the daily life of the citizen. We are fully confident that community awareness will contribute to the efforts of the Ministry of Public Works in accomplishing this mission.”

Minister of Public Works and Minister of State for Municipal Affairs Dr. Noura Al-Mishaan

She pointed out that “the ministry’s sponsorship of the workshop reflects an official interest in scientific activities and professional partnerships with non-profit civil society organizations aimed at implementing the government’s work program, which reflects the vision of the new era to achieve development and sustainability in our projects.” She also called for cooperation in implementing recommendations to gain more efficiency in monitoring civilian facilities in particular. She added that “infrastructure projects constitute 32.36 percent of the projects included in the government work program. This is a major challenge that we are working with full force to accomplish by the latest engineering and technical standards and the use of modern technology in various fields.” She stressed that “the achievement has begun. We have become very close and in continuous communication with all citizens. Without any delay, we started the process of repairing roads.” Meanwhile, the President of the Kuwait Society of Engineers Eng Faisal Al-Atl confirmed there is a state of estrangement between civil society and several government agencies.

He said, “The ambitious government program aspires for a new economic reality that requires community solidarity, filling all gaps, and cooperation between the executive and legislative authorities as well as the oversight authorities.” He added: “It is necessary to close the hotbeds of corruption, combat it forcefully, hold the negligent accountable, and reward the hardworking. When the government program affects the standard of living of citizens, the need to raise public awareness of the expected return on society and the State is heightened on the part of the citizen, his children, and grandchildren. Who is responsible for such an imminent task?” He disclosed that “Kuwait Society of Engineers takes the initiative and constantly raises the pace of the initiative, but most of the time we are faced with estrangement and obstacles. Therefore, flexibility that adheres to the regulations in dealing with these initiatives is required, especially when they are far from any financial cost to the State.” He affirmed that the workshop meets the urgent need to develop building control systems and a code that addresses the technological requirements of the age and confronts disasters, especially earthquakes.

“This requires intensified academic efforts and cooperation with international experts. The workshop aims to achieve this goal; considering it includes the presentation of 14 scientific papers out of 36 with five key speakers among the international specialists, distinctive local experience and visual presentations of cases that we are proud to have in the homeland of love and peace,” he added. On the other hand, Dr Werner Lenhart, President of the Civil Structural Health Monitoring Association of Canada, disclosed “we signed an agreement to strengthen cooperation in developing the engineering profession. The agreement allows members of both sides to participate in scientific and research activities, encourage, organize, and sponsor seminars, conferences and meetings, and transfer and localize technical knowledge and expertise.” He affirmed: “We are about to open a headquarters for the association in Kuwait in cooperation with the Kuwait Society of Engineers. It will be the first office in the region. We aim for stronger cooperation and the transfer of technical expertise to engineering professionals capable of addressing local conditions in their communities.” Moreover, Municipal Council member Dr Hassan Kamal revealed that “during the workshop, we will review the designs and applications of structural health monitoring that support the flexibility of infrastructure systems and applications of the seismic code in areas with low exposure to earthquakes.”

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