Free­ways don’t match de­mand

Not enough bud­get for free­way main­te­nance

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE -

Agreen Ab­dulla, Di­rec­tor of main­te­nance and ren­o­va­tion of Er­bil free­ways, states that the free­ways in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion do not have the ca­pac­ity for the in­creased num­ber of trucks and their bud­get for ren­o­va­tion and main­te­nance of the roads is not suf­fi­cient.

Agreen Ab­dulla, Di­rec­tor of main­te­nance and ren­o­va­tion of Er­bil free­ways, states that the free­ways in Kur­dis­tan Re­gion do not have the ca­pac­ity for the in­creased num­ber of trucks and their bud­get for ren­o­va­tion and main­te­nance of the roads is not suf­fi­cient.

Q: Are the re­gion’s free­ways able to ac­com­mo­date the large num­ber of trucks?

A: I am afraid they are not. This is be­cause by the end of 2012 around 490 thou­sand ve- hi­cles have been reg­is­tered in Er­bil Province, 120 thou­sand of them be­ing heavy ve­hi­cles and trucks. This is an ex­tra load on the roads and cause sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to the roads.

Q: Have you re­ported this is­sue to the au­thor­i­ties, since this is re­lated to the safety of the peo­ple?

A: Since the es­tab­lish­ment of this di­rec­torate, we have submitted dozens of re­ports and stud­ies and what has been done till now as a so­lu­tion is in­stalling scales on the free­ways to weigh the trucks and pre­vent ex­tra load.

Q: Trucks are com­monly breach­ing the laws and reg­u­la­tions and mis­us­ing the roads.

A: This is a global phe­nom­e­non and it hap­pens any­where. The im­por­tant thing is that we have a proper sys­tem to pre­vent car­ry­ing weight be­yond the legally al­lowed weight. This can­not be 100% con­trolled but traf­fic po­lice and check­point se­cu­rity team are also with us not to al­low any trucks to pass with­out a weight ticket.

Q: There are holes in many free­ways and they may cause traf­fic ac­ci­dents.

A: The roads are old and a small whole can get big­ger with rain. The im­por­tant thing is that wher­ever there are holes, we try to fix it as soon as pos­si­ble.

Q: Some­times peo­ple cre­ate humps on the free­ways il­le­gally. How do you pre­vent this?

A: It is true that there have been some in­fringe­ments. Now the traf­fic law has been ap­proved and we are wait­ing for some reg­u­la­tions to ad­dress this is­sue in co­op­er­a­tion with the Min­istry of In­te­rior.

Q: Do you face any chal­lenges in per­form­ing your du­ties?

A: Although we are part of the min­istry of re­con­struc­tion and hous­ing and the gover­norate as­sists us as well, we still are in short of equip­ment and ma­chin­ery; and our an­nual bud­get is lim­ited and not in line with the free­ways’ main­te­nance and re­pair de­mands. How­ever, we don’t have any short­age in terms of man­power and per­son­nel. We re­quest the government and re­con­struc­tion min­istry to fo­cus more on main­tain­ing the free­ways.

Q: Con­trac­tors are some­times not con­struct­ing the roads to a high qual­ity stan­dard. Does this in­crease your bur­den?

A: All road con­struc­tions have 1 year free-main­te­nance guar­an­tee and if we de­ter­mine that a dam­age is due to con­trac­tor’s qual­ity of work, we force them to fix it within the year. Q: Many free­ways were dam­aged this year due to the heavy rain­ing. What have you done for that?

A: This Jan­uary, and es­pe­cially on Jan­uary 28th and 29th, a heavy rain­ing dam­aged many roads in Er­bil province and de­stroyed a num­ber of bridges. Later, based on the re­quest of Er­bil Gover­norate, a team was es­tab­lished to iden­tify and fix the dam­ages, which where about 136 places and dam­ages were es­ti­mated at IQD 14 bil­lion (ap­prox­i­mately US$ 12 mil­lion).

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