By Ayman Adly
Maintenance and upgrading of internal streets across Qatar should be assigned to the designated municipalities so as to expedite the process, the Central Municipal Council (CMC) has suggested.
The CMC also recommended, at its regular bi-weekly session yesterday, to ban heavy trucks from Doha’s main roads during peak hours to avoid traffic congestion.
Currently, roads and streets are maintained by the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) which handles all the public infrastructure and construction projects in the country.
CMC vice chairman Jassim al-Malki submitted a suggestion to transfer the responsibility of maintaining internal streets from Ashghal to the Ministry of Municipality and Urban Planning (MMUP) and assign it to the municipalities concerned for more flexibility.
In this way, CMC members argued, such areas would have a better follow-up as municipalities are supposed to know better the condition of the streets that fall under their jurisdiction, based on their close interaction with local residents.
Further, Ashghal is tasked with various major projects and have its own procedures in implementing these works, which may cause unnecessary delays to street works that could simply be undertaken by the municipalities concerned.
The suggestion was welcomed by most CMC members.
CMC chairman Saud al-Hinzab referred the proposal to the CMC Services and Utility Committee for further study and consultations with Ashghal and MMUP officials.
CMC asked the Ministry of Interior (the Traffic Department) to impose a ban on heavy vehicles from 6am to 8am and from 1pm to 2.30pm to ease the transport of students to school and back home. Also, drivers and owners of these trucks should be alerted on the importance of following these instructions and ply only on roads designated for them, it was suggested.
CMC recommended that Ashghal should, in co-ordination with the Traffic Department, instal electronic road signs specifying the timing during which trucks are allowed on the roads. Trucks carrying cargo of excessive weights may cause serious damage to the road infrastructure and pose risks to other road users, it was pointed out.
Accordingly, CMC recommended that MMUP in co-operation with other stakeholders, should form a specialised team to study this phenomenon and find a suitable solution.
It also urged Ashghal to ensure the quality of materials used in the construction of roads and to use adequate technology in testing their validity for the designated usage.
CMC also passed a number of recommendations to make sure that the companies undertaking the demolition works of building abide by the standard safety and security regulations.