Ashghal should unify, improve standards: CMC
November 08 2016 09:59 PM
The CMC session in progress. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil
The CMC session in progress. PICTURE: Noushad Thekkayil

The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) should unify the standards and specifications for planning and executing traffic diversions, the Central Municipal Council (CMC) suggested.

At its regular biweekly session, the council reviewed the safety and security measures followed by Ashghal for traffic diversions for various road works projects. It stressed the need for Ashghal to enhance its control efforts on the involved contracting companies and maintain a daily inspection to ensure the proper implementation of the road safety and security measures.

Besides, the council pointed out that it is necessary to make sure that the plastic barriers used for road works are filled with water or sand to avoid being moved away by the wind. Also, Asghal should closely co-ordinate such issues with the traffic department to arrive at the best possible solutions for traffic diversions.

Meanwhile, officials at the Traffic Department pointed out that Ashghal follows a certain system in this regard and the department is well-informed about its mechanism. Traffic patrols often inspect such barriers and ensure they are compliant with the set standard. Any company that falls short would be issued a violation.

The council suggested that a board should be installed at each road works project that includes the phone number of the safety engineer in charge to be contacted in case of any need or for inquiries. Ashghal also informed the CMC that there is a guidebook for the proper implementations of traffic diversions.

The council also issued a recommendation on the need to enhance control and inspection efforts on the construction and demolition sites by the Ministry of Municipality and Environment (MME). The council said that MME should intensify its inspection campaign on the contacting companies undertaking such projects to ensure they follow the standard safety and security regulations. The MME should also ensure these companies are providing their workers on site with all the necessary facilities such as proper toilets and drinking water to encourage them do more at work.

At yesterday's session, the council discussed the issue of the houses of Qataris on the outskirts of the country, asking the MME to regulate the situations of their owners. The council said that the MME considered such houses as chalets rather than residential houses of Qataris so they are charged the highest rates for water and electricity bills. Some of them have already defaulted and facing legal action for being unable to pay their bills. So, the council urged the MME to find a legal way to regulate these houses and grant them the status of residential houses to help their owners and ease their lives.

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