IT HAS become common to mention the Ministry of Public Works due to the flying pebbles on many Kuwaiti roads, owing to the rainstorm which occurred three months ago. The neutral fact-finding committee formed as per the instruction of young proactive minister Jenan Boushehri has attributed the source of this chaos to the government agency — the Ministry of Public Works.
This involves the ministry’s engineers, supervisors and those in charge of works, as well as the private sector like companies, contractors, engineering and architectural firms. All of them have been suspended and I wish they are blacklisted until their innocence is proven.
I wonder why the law which brought us more disasters to please the ‘needy traders’ have not been amended. This law stipulates that a foreign company cannot operate in Kuwait without a ‘Kuwaiti agent,’ which means it cannot operate directly. This was when Kuwaitis entered the era of tenders and contractors.
I am certain that most of the beautiful landmarks in Kuwait — Shuwaikh High School, industrial college and others — were built by Caterpillar Inc which had no Kuwaiti agent who just received the share.
We should establish contracts directly with major construction companies in the world, without the long documentary cycle and repeated mistakes which neither save nor spare any citizen.
However, this is not our topic for today. Our topic is an incident that I witnessed. A citizen called the Ministry of Public Works through its WhatsApp number to report about the worn out road surface in front of his house. This portion of the road is filled with water used by neighbors to wash their vehicles and poultry cages. The citizen sent pictures of the situation in question through that number.
The next day, the citizen woke up and he was surprised to hear digging machines working in front of his house. The following day, Public Works employees were seen covering the pothole with asphalt.
It was like a dream for this fellow citizen to realize that the Ministry of Public Works responded to his query and solved the issue within 48 hours after receiving the initial report. All this happened before my eyes and to the amazement of my neighbor.
For this, we salute all the employees (aggrieved) in the Ministry of Public Works, especially our honorable sister Jenan Boushehri. May there be more of her kind.
By Ali Ahmed Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil