MPs de­mand probe into rain dam­age

Kuwait Times - - Front Page - By B Iz­zak

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.

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