Ashghal blamed for traffic chaos on Doha roads

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Daisy

Members of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) are highly critical of the Public Works Authority and say the blame for traffic snarls on Doha roads should go solely to it.

Delays being made by Ashghal in completing infrastructure projects are the main reason for chaos and traffic jams on city roads during peak hours, several councillors said.

Besides, there is a lack of traffic management and plan and there is hardly any coordination between traffic authorities and Ashghal, according to CMC members.

Councillor Mohamed Al Hajri, talking of the start of new school year on Sunday, said traffic jams after schools reopen are nothing new, and people get used to them after first or second day.

Ashghal, he said, should adopt new strategies to execute development projects. They should do major projects during the summer break.

If Ashghal wants, it can finish a project in record time, said Al Hajri, citing the example of changing roundabouts into traffic intersections on the Corniche Road.

“They completed the projects in record time after working day and night. This shows that if Ashghal wants to do a project in time, it can,” said Al Hajri.

According to CMC member, Abdullah Al Athba, infrastructure projects are launched in every city across the world but it is perhaps Doha where such works lead to full or partial closure of roads. “Ashghal must change its work strategy.”

Another councillor, Hamad Lahdan Al Mohannadi, said the CMC had earlier asked Ashghal to set a plan whereby it is able to complete major development projects during the long summer break.

The problem with Ashghal is that it doesn’t actively coordinate with state agencies, including the Ministry of Transport, the municipalities and the Traffic Department.

Al Mohannadi said the Supreme Education Council (SEC) should provide buses to all schools and make it mandatory for every student to be ferried to school and back home on a bus.

According to him, there are some families with three to four school-going children. The problem is that they go to different schools so different cars ferry them. “This practice must stop.”

Another problem is that students come to schools from far-off areas, he said and wondered why those students cannot go to schools in their areas.

Mubarak Fraish, who represents Al Gharrafa in the CMC, said there are more schools in some areas, and a few or no school in other areas. The geographical distribution of schools should be made uniform, he added.

Councillor Ahmed Al Sheeb also laid the blame for traffic woes at the door of Ashghal and said traffic snarls had by now become part of Doha’s life.

Photo: www.gulf-times.com