Kuwait News

 

 

KUWAIT: the Interior Ministry Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs Major-General Abdel Fattah Al-Ali says the Ministry of Public Works is responsible for traffic congestion all over Kuwait.
He pointed out the ministry has failed in its duty and called for launching an awareness campaign and begin repairs for the roads.

He was speaking during a seminar entitled ‘Traffic Crisis in Kuwait: Challenges and Solutions’, Tuesday which was organized by the Kuwait Journalists Association in cooperation with Kuwait Society for Traffic Safety.

He disclosed the Interior Ministry has collected KD 38 million in citations out of the KD 41 million due to the good policy and strategy pursued by the administration since last April.

He also revealed because of the efforts exerted by the General Traffic Department Kuwait saw a low rate of traffic accidents which was about 3,200 from a high of 8,000 per month on an average. This is in addition to low rate of mortality as a result of traffic accidents which has climbed down from the 50s to about 18-19 a month.

He stressed the ministry was able to create a positive change within just six months when the new law was put into effect. He presented a number of statistics, which show there are 1.8 million vehicles on the streets of Kuwait and 1.3 million people hold driving licenses of which 620,000 are held by Kuwaitis and 780,000 by expatriates.

He pointed out the campaign which was launched on April 20 this year resulted in impounding 100,000 outdated cars and confiscation of 35,000 driving licenses which had been obtained through forgery and manipulation.

He added 18 groups of task force comprising 53 personnel in each group were formed and two groups were allocated for each governorate, one monitored security on the roads.

During the campaign it was discovered 300,000 vehicles violated the security and durability terms and conditions while 23,000 were driving their vehicles without renewing their registration documents. All these vehicles were scrapped.

Al-Ali further pointed out that the campaign also resulted in reduction of the number of violations from 128,000 to 91,000 per month, and there is also reduction of the number of indirect violations that are recorded by surveillance cameras from 173,000 to 81,000, “which confirms that the ministry is moving in the right direction,” he added.

He pointed out many streets of Kuwait are subjected to maintenance by the Ministry of Public Works which cause more traffic jams. He pointed out the Jabriya exit is currently closed by the Ministry of Works which has led to the closure of four major ways. He said the work was scheduled to be completed before Eid Al-Fitr, but it is still ongoing.

He stressed he does not work to deport expatriates but rather to implement the law. He noted the administration continues to enforce the law with an iron fist and will not make a turnaround at any cost.
Secretary-General of Kuwait Journalists Association, Faisal Al-Qanaie also blamed the Ministry of Public Works for the traffic problems and road accidents for failing to complete work on time.

He called on the government to put in place proper infrastructure like that of Dubai and Singapore to resolve the traffic problems and called for cooperation and coordination among ministries to find a solution.

He noted the policy of traffic police in Kuwait is based on ‘catching the offender’ not the ‘violation’ and called for spreading awareness about violations “in order to avoid their occurrence because achievement is not catching the number of violators but reducing their number. This indicates the success of the policy.”

For her part, member of Kuwait Society for Traffic Safety Dr Khaloud Al-Najjar highlighted the problems caused by traffic accidents. She stressed on the need for concerted efforts of government agencies and civil society in resolving this problem and to protect young people from traffic accidents.

She also shed light on some activities and awareness campaigns organized by the society in collaboration with the youth group and the proposals and recommendations of these campaigns and studies have been referred to the Interior Ministry but it has not been taken into consideration until today. 
She appealed to the concerned authorities and officials to organize such campaigns to protect the young people and reduce traffic accidents. She pointed out the main problem facing the society is the culture of ‘I’.

Meanwhile, Brigadier Nasser Al-Enezi and Colonel Hisham Al-Yaseen talked about long-term strategy of the ministry to reduce traffic congestion and achieve HH the Amir’s desire of transforming Kuwaiti into a commercial and financial hub. 

They explained the most important priorities and engineering projects proposed by the General Traffic Department (GTD) including building bridges, constructing roads or expanding and upgrading roads, stressing that these works will be carried out by the Public Works Ministry in the next few years to ensure positive change in raising the standard of safety.

On national traffic strategic projects for the traffic, they stated that this will be carried out by the Interior Ministry represented by the GTD in coordination with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which has already put in place recommendations to address the traffic problem and offered an international tender in this regard.

With regards the modern technology projects, they said these projects will be executed soon in addition to a number of systems and automated link programs with some authorities and departments at the ministry which include:
 

  • Comprehensive program for the patrol commander to help him cite violations and know about car and driving license. This program will also help the commander identify places of traffic accidents accurately and also provide database of the repeated accident places so as to help avoid its recurrence and correct mistakes.
  • Project of recording and collecting traffic violations through TETRA network and linking it with Violations Department.
  • Implementing the idea of informing violators about the violations they commit through SMS and its role in decreasing the rate of traffic accidents and violations.
  • Project of automated link between GTD and General Customs Department (GCD) to monitor the entrance and exit of vehicles and drivers based on driving licenses and providing special information of the referential lists (the companies manufactured the cars, models, type of car and its specifications).
  • Project of automated link between GTD and General Immigration Department to collect values of traffic violations due to the expatriates when leaving the country or renewing their residencies or issuing visit visas for their relatives and other transactions.
  • Making a computer program to put LOCK on cars of expatriates whose driving licenses and insurances have expired for three months. This program is aimed at correcting the legal status by renewing license or disqualifying a car and seizing its plate.

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 18: the Interior Ministry Undersecretary for Traffic Affairs Major-General Abdel Fattah Al-Ali says the Ministry of Public Works is responsible for traffic congestion all over Kuwait.
He pointed out the ministry has failed in its duty and called for launching an awareness campaign and begin repairs for the roads.

He was speaking during a seminar entitled ‘Traffic Crisis in Kuwait: Challenges and Solutions’, Tuesday which was organized by the Kuwait Journalists Association in cooperation with Kuwait Society for Traffic Safety.

He disclosed the Interior Ministry has collected KD 38 million in citations out of the KD 41 million due to the good policy and strategy pursued by the administration since last April.

He also revealed because of the efforts exerted by the General Traffic Department Kuwait saw a low rate of traffic accidents which was about 3,200 from a high of 8,000 per month on an average. This is in addition to low rate of mortality as a result of traffic accidents which has climbed down from the 50s to about 18-19 a month.

He stressed the ministry was able to create a positive change within just six months when the new law was put into effect. He presented a number of statistics, which show there are 1.8 million vehicles on the streets of Kuwait and 1.3 million people hold driving licenses of which 620,000 are held by Kuwaitis and 780,000 by expatriates.

He pointed out the campaign which was launched on April 20 this year resulted in impounding 100,000 outdated cars and confiscation of 35,000 driving licenses which had been obtained through forgery and manipulation.

He added 18 groups of task force comprising 53 personnel in each group were formed and two groups were allocated for each governorate, one monitored security on the roads.

During the campaign it was discovered 300,000 vehicles violated the security and durability terms and conditions while 23,000 were driving their vehicles without renewing their registration documents. All these vehicles were scrapped.

Al-Ali further pointed out that the campaign also resulted in reduction of the number of violations from 128,000 to 91,000 per month, and there is also reduction of the number of indirect violations that are recorded by surveillance cameras from 173,000 to 81,000, “which confirms that the ministry is moving in the right direction,” he added.

He pointed out many streets of Kuwait are subjected to maintenance by the Ministry of Public Works which cause more traffic jams. He pointed out the Jabriya exit is currently closed by the Ministry of Works which has led to the closure of four major ways. He said the work was scheduled to be completed before Eid Al-Fitr, but it is still ongoing.

He stressed he does not work to deport expatriates but rather to implement the law. He noted the administration continues to enforce the law with an iron fist and will not make a turnaround at any cost.
Secretary-General of Kuwait Journalists Association, Faisal Al-Qanaie also blamed the Ministry of Public Works for the traffic problems and road accidents for failing to complete work on time.

He called on the government to put in place proper infrastructure like that of Dubai and Singapore to resolve the traffic problems and called for cooperation and coordination among ministries to find a solution.

He noted the policy of traffic police in Kuwait is based on ‘catching the offender’ not the ‘violation’ and called for spreading awareness about violations “in order to avoid their occurrence because achievement is not catching the number of violators but reducing their number. This indicates the success of the policy.”

For her part, member of Kuwait Society for Traffic Safety Dr Khaloud Al-Najjar highlighted the problems caused by traffic accidents. She stressed on the need for concerted efforts of government agencies and civil society in resolving this problem and to protect young people from traffic accidents.

She also shed light on some activities and awareness campaigns organized by the society in collaboration with the youth group and the proposals and recommendations of these campaigns and studies have been referred to the Interior Ministry but it has not been taken into consideration until today. 
She appealed to the concerned authorities and officials to organize such campaigns to protect the young people and reduce traffic accidents. She pointed out the main problem facing the society is the culture of ‘I’.

Meanwhile, Brigadier Nasser Al-Enezi and Colonel Hisham Al-Yaseen talked about long-term strategy of the ministry to reduce traffic congestion and achieve HH the Amir’s desire of transforming Kuwaiti into a commercial and financial hub. 

They explained the most important priorities and engineering projects proposed by the General Traffic Department (GTD) including building bridges, constructing roads or expanding and upgrading roads, stressing that these works will be carried out by the Public Works Ministry in the next few years to ensure positive change in raising the standard of safety.

On national traffic strategic projects for the traffic, they stated that this will be carried out by the Interior Ministry represented by the GTD in coordination with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) which has already put in place recommendations to address the traffic problem and offered an international tender in this regard.

With regards the modern technology projects, they said these projects will be executed soon in addition to a number of systems and automated link programs with some authorities and departments at the ministry which include:
 

  • Comprehensive program for the patrol commander to help him cite violations and know about car and driving license. This program will also help the commander identify places of traffic accidents accurately and also provide database of the repeated accident places so as to help avoid its recurrence and correct mistakes.
  • Project of recording and collecting traffic violations through TETRA network and linking it with Violations Department.
  • Implementing the idea of informing violators about the violations they commit through SMS and its role in decreasing the rate of traffic accidents and violations.
  • Project of automated link between GTD and General Customs Department (GCD) to monitor the entrance and exit of vehicles and drivers based on driving licenses and providing special information of the referential lists (the companies manufactured the cars, models, type of car and its specifications).
  • Project of automated link between GTD and General Immigration Department to collect values of traffic violations due to the expatriates when leaving the country or renewing their residencies or issuing visit visas for their relatives and other transactions.
  • Making a computer program to put LOCK on cars of expatriates whose driving licenses and insurances have expired for three months. This program is aimed at correcting the legal status by renewing license or disqualifying a car and seizing its plate.

By: Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT: Ministry of Interior has rejected all applications for transfer of residences from domestic visa to private sector work visa even though the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor had few days ago issued the decision to allow such residence transfers within a limited period of two months.

A reliable source from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor revealed that the ministry rejected the applications because the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor failed to coordinate with it prior to issuing such a decision particularly since the Ministry of Interior is the official authority currently responsible for the affairs of the domestic personnel.

He stressed that such a situation reflects the lack of coordination among the ministries. In another development, sources revealed that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor has approved a partial shuffle of a number of department directors and supervisors in order to cover some functional gaps and vacancies in the ministry, adding that more such rotations can be expected in the future.

KUWAIT CITY: A Kuwaiti citizen lodged a complaint at Rumaithiya Police Station against an unknown individual, accusing the latter of calling him on his mobile phone and threatening to publish his wife’s pictures and videos on the Internet if he was not paid KD 3,000. Securitymen took down the mobile number of the suspect.

A case was registered and investigations are ongoing to find and arrest the unknown suspect.

KUWAIT: Kuwait has decided not to build an oil export pipeline to bypass the Strait of Hormuz because it would be too difficult and costly, a leading Kuwaiti newspaper reported yesterday. Kuwait’s Gulf OPEC allies, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, have opened alternative oil export routes to reduce their reliance on shipping lanes that Iran has threatened to block several times over the last few years. State-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corporation (KPC) has also studied alternative export options, including pipelines through neighboring Saudi Arabia and Iraq, Al-Qabas daily newspaper said.

But these proposals have been dismissed as too expensive because of the long routes involved, the paper said, citing senior oil industry sources. KPC was not immediately available for comment. Unlike Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose Hormuz bypass pipelines only run across their own territories, Kuwait would have to pump oil hundreds of miles across a neighboring state. Kuwait’s economy is highly dependent on oil revenues and all its oil exports – around 2 million barrels a day – are shipped out of the narrow waterway between Iran and Oman.

In another development, officials of government radio stations in the Arab Gulf countries support Bahrain’s initiative to launch “This is the Arabian Gulf” Radio Station in October this year, contributing to common GCC action, a Kuwaiti official said yesterday. Yusuf Mustafa, Information Ministry’s Assistant Undersecretary for Radio Affairs, said the new radio station would contribute to preserving traditions, culture, art and literature of the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

Mustafa was speaking to KUNA after a meeting of senior radio officials in GCC countries. He said participants approved initial launch of the Bahrain-based radio station through Bahrain Radio end of this month. The GCC countries will assess the new radio station for three months, said Mustafa, and engineers would determine the frequency modulation (FM) in every country.

GCC information ministers will be discussing the new radio station when they meet late this month, he said. Once approved, added Mustafa, the Gulf radio stations would launch promotion campaigns for the new station. Mustafa, meanwhile, said Kuwait Radio gave Bahrain Radio a copy of its programs for non-Arab listeners in English, Urdu, Filipino and Persian languages. The GCC consist of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Oman. – Agencies

KUWAIT: A man was charged for physically assaulting a police officer who issued him a ticket for blocking traffic. The incident took place on Sunday in Salmiya after the policeman parked his motorcycle behind the man’s car to write him a ticket. The man, who was supposedly talking to a female driver nearby, got out of his car and confronted the officer after realizing that he was about to get ticketed. An altercation ensued and escalated to a point when the driver beat up the officer and then escaped on foot before back-up police rushed to the scene. The man’s car was impounded and he was later summoned to the Salmiya police station for questioning. During investigations, the man provided a different story by claiming that the officer harassed his female relative which prompted him to respond violently. The man filed a countersuit and offered to drop the charges if the officer did the same. The officer refused him and the two cases were referred for further investigation.

Kuwait: A couple in Al-Qairawan approached local police on Sunday to report that their teenage daughter was kidnapped by her uncle, but investigations later revealed that the man had actually stepped in to save his niece from his sister and her husband who beat her up. The uncle had escorted the 13-year-old to the Qairawan police station after officers summoned him for investigations in a case filed by the girl’s parents moments earlier. The man said during questioning that he had to break into his sister’s house in order to free his niece who called him crying and complained that she was being beaten. The parents eventually confirmed the uncle’s story and later dropped the charges.

ACCRA: A school proprietor who was arraigned before an Accra Circuit Court on the charge of human trafficking has been scheduled to undergo full trial on Oct 10. Peter Nana Kwakye Firam is alleged to have recruited one Margaret Agyekum and others from Ghana to Kuwait, under the pretext of securing them better jobs. The accused person, who had been paid in advance for the recruitment of the victims, transported them to Kuwait by air, where, upon their arrival, they were made to work under harsh conditions.

Peter Nana Kwakye Firam was arrested by the police, when one of the victims had the chance to report the incident to a relative in Ghana through a phone call. Upon his arrest, he admitted the offence, but later pleaded not guilty to the charge leveled against him before the court presided over by Sedina Agbemva. He was admitted to bail with two sureties each.

Sometime in 2012, Peter Nana Kwakye Firam informed the complainant that he operates a travel and tour agency, and that there was a lucrative job in Kuwait.. The Prosecutor, Chief Inspector Samuel Sakwah, told the court that upon the information, the complainant ‘s mother, who is a witness in the case, became interested and gave the accused an amount to enable him acquire documents from an agency in Kuwait called Saad Shahel, owned by one Rooney. “The victim, after paying the said amount, was finally transported to Kuwait on July 24, 2012.

Upon arrival in Kuwait, the victim’s Ghanaian passport, number H2196293, her mobile phone, and all other documents were seized, and she and other Ghanaians were forced to do hazardous work, and their movement restricted as they were working under guard,” the prosecutor stated.—Al-Africa

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