The court of appeal rejected a claim by a woman for KD 5,000 in compensation for damage to her vehicle as a result of flying gravel on the roads. The rejection of the case sent a message to everyone not to trouble themselves to file more cases and hire lawyers, because those who are affected due to the bad job by the contractor and the ministry of public works need to remain silent and accept the reality. Or take the long road of insurance companies and garages to repair the damage and pay for it.
For more than a year now, many people have been suffering from the flying stones on the roads that is damaging their cars, especially when the windshield shatters, forcing motorists to pay from their own pockets to change the glass and repair the cars, whether tires or other parts. These complaints led many people to sue the government for damages, but it is no surprise that the case was denied.
However, the committee for public utilities at the National Assembly issued a report on the incidence of flying gravel. It stated that the main reasons for the occurrence of the problem is due to lack of control, supervision and poor procedures to ensure quality, and the responsibility for the damage to the roads is between all concerned official authorities, the ministry of public works and the road contractors.
The committee also recommended not using any new method unless scientific tests are conducted over its durability and quality, and after proving its success, to take appropriate measures to prevent wastage of public funds. The report added that the reasons for the problem were volatility in terms of traffic density and the absence of weight stations for trucks. The committee assured that these considerations had to be taken into account when finalizing contracts for the design of asphalt mixtures.
I believe that what is mentioned in the report is understandable and clear to all. When we drive our cars on a highway that was only built a few years ago and we find cracks on the road, it shows the poor work of the responsible party. Clearly, the report indicates that there is no supervision in the performance of the work. We the people are affected and even pay money to fix others’ mistakes, while complaining is unacceptable! So what is the solution? The public utilities committee has played its role, and we have to wait for a new disaster to remind ourselves that there is continuing neglect.
By Muna Al-Fuzai