Ashghal takes the blame for Salwa flooding

May 14, 2014 - 3:34:46 am
The Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning H E Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani (right) with Engineer Nasser bin Ali Al Mawlawi, President, Ashghal, at the press conference yesterday. Abdul Basit

DOHA: The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) is fully responsible for the flooding on two Salwa Road tunnels following heavy rains on March 26,  the Minister of Municipality and Urban Planning  H E Sheikh Abdulrahman bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani said yesterday.

Addressing  a joint press conference with President of the Public Works Authority (Ashghal) Engineer Nasser Ali Al Mawlawi, the Minister said that three departments concerned at Ashghal should be held responsible for the inundation.  He categorically stated that he didn’t find any mistake with the contracting or consulting firm involved in the project in this regard.

A high-level committee set up by the Prime Minister and Interior Minister H E Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa Al Thani to investigate the flooding earlier put the onus on Ashghal and the Salwa road project management. 

The committee also criticised the lack of an emergency and crisis management system at Ashghal and decided to set up an effective system in this respect.

“We found that the underground sewage pipes were overloaded (following the rains). Ashghal was supposed to find a solution either by disposing the water  to empty land or releasing it to sea. The issue is clear and there was an internal fault,” said the Minister.

He said that three departments at Ashghal — Assets, Highway and Consultancies section at the project department — should be held responsible for the flooding and they have already been informed about that.

“I dint find any mistake with the  contracting or consulting firm… We have made the mistake and we learned from that,” said the Minister.

He added that the Ministry and Ashghal were looking for a permanent solution to the problem of water-logging.

“We don’t want to see the tankers pumping out water (after the rains) any more.  We need a permanent solution. We have identified the black spots ( for water-logging) and Ashghal is working on a solution,” said the Minister.

The minister emphasised the need for transparency. “We face rejection of some circles but this has to be overcome for the sake of the public and we work to resolve all problems for the interest of the country. Our big ambition as citizens is to serve this country and correct any mistakes, whereas those who are carrying out projects anywhere in the country should respect people and avoid causing harm,” said the Minister.

He voiced determination to implement the directives of the Prime Minister on informing the public on the existing Ashghal projects and addressing the  problems. 

The Minister said in the near future the distribution of new plots of land to citizens will meet all infrastructure requirements, like parks, playgrounds, mosques and commercial outlets.  

This remains a priority for the Ministry and Ashghal, but will take time to accomplish it, he added.

He also underlined the importance of ensuring integrated infrastructure in areas outside Doha and across Qatar, stressing the need to create the state-of-the-art Furjan markets in different regions. 

On Al Karana landfill, the Minister said the problem will be solved when the construction of a treatment station there is completed in 2017. 

He said a north-south tunnel will be built at the TV Roundabout while the Khalifa Road will be expanded to four lanes. The Peninsula

 

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