MPs demand probe into rain damage
KUWAIT: Five lawmakers yesterday filed a petition demanding a broad investigation into who is responsible for the devastation caused by heavy rains that lashed the country two days ago, resulting in heavy damage. MPs Mohammad Al-Dallal, Riyadh Al-Adasani, Osama AlShaheen, Omar Al-Tabtabaei and Majed Al-Mutairi demanded that the National Assembly’s public utilities panel be assigned to launch a comprehensive probe into this matter.
They said the panel should probe the ministries of public works and electricity and the public roads authority or any other concerned government agency for failure to make the necessary preparations for the rainy season. They gave the committee two months to prepare a comprehensive report on the issue to be debated by the Assembly, which should take the necessary actions after that.
The lawmakers demanded in their petition that the committee find out who is responsible for the failure to make the necessary preparations and also the reasons for what happened. They said the committee should also review the
outcome of previous similar investigations, especially those formed in 2015 and last year and why the authorities did not implement recommendations made by those investigations.
They demanded that the committee investigates how authorities dealt with recommendations made by the Assembly after an underpass submerged in Mangaf last year following heavy rains. The investigation should include all contractors and maintenance companies that the ministry of public works hired for road and sewage network projects over the past three years, and the violations and remarks made by supervisory bodies over such contracts and works.
The government has already sacked two top officials - the undersecretary of the ministry of public works Awatef Al-Ghuneim and head of the public roads authority Ahmad Al-Hassan. Hassan told a press conference yesterday that the rainstorm was too powerful and that the country’s sewage and road networks could not cope with its intensity.
Opposition MP Abdulwahab Al-Babtain however said the government’s actions in sacking the officials were not satisfactory and lacked adequate investigations. He said that firing officials without establishing who was responsible is incorrect and an official investigation should have been launched before taking any action. He also expressed fears that the dismissals were an action by the minister to put the blame on others, adding he will grill the minister if he does not prove who was responsible for what happened.
In another explosive issue, MP Faisal Al-Kandari yesterday called on the government to sack the CEO of Kuwait Petroleum Corp (KPC) Nezar Al-Adasani for statements deemed offensive and damaging to the diplomatic ties with neighboring Saudi Arabia. Kandari said that by issuing such a statement, Adasani has caused tremendous damage to the ties between the two countries and that he has exceeded his authority as an oil executive. Adasani’s tenure is coming to end in a few weeks.