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Monday, September 20, 2021

Contractor and Ashghal blamed for flooding of Salwa Road underpass

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Razy K Salam

Qatar’s Public Works Authority (Ashghal) and the contractor working on the Salwa Road underpasses that flooded in March have been found responsible for the incident, according to an investigative committee set up by the nation’s Prime Minister.

The panel of engineering experts was formed the day after the flooding, after questions arose about why the newly built road’s drainage system had been unable to cope with surface water after continuous rainfall on March 26.

The flooding caused many cars to become stranded in the water, and led to the temporary closure of Qatar Decoration underpass, prompting traffic chaos in the surrounding areas.

Report findings

The root cause of the flooding identified in the report  – the lack of an outlet for the road’s drains – comes as no surprise, as Ashghal disclosed this fact soon after the flooding.

In a statement, it explained that while the road had a drainage network with a high capacity, this was not yet connected to an outlet, so all rain water simply pooled in the existing pipes, and was removed by suction pumps as required. It added that a planned link to the sea “via the Abu Hamour network” had not yet been completed.

The PM’s committee report suggests several reasons for this oversight, including:

  • A lack of coordination between key departments at Ashghal, the Salwa Road project’s consultant and its project director;
  • A failure to follow up on the road project to make sure that the sewage system worked properly, particularly by the Expressway and Operation and Maintenance Departments at Ashghal;
  • The absence of a crisis management system at Ashghal; and
  • A lack of coordination between Ashghal and the National Command Center during the emergency.

Recommendations

Ashghal has not yet commented on the report’s findings.

Having established the cause of the problem, the report suggests ways of preventing such a problem from happening again.

These include the setting up of a permanent emergency and crisis management system at Ashghal, and the establishment of a new system to monitor how well the sewage network is coping during periods of heavy rainfall.

The decision to release the findings of the report to the general public comes amid a government push to increase transparency. Other recent initiatives include a decision to name and shame violators of the country’s food law, and a move to establish an “open data” policy.

In a statement this week, the flooding investigation committee said:

“We are making the findings public to make it clear what had happened, respecting public opinion and their right to know. The state is keen to remain transparent and realistic and protect the lives of people and public property.”

Thoughts?

8 COMMENTS

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Saffa
Saffa
7 years ago

DN could you find in the report how the Contractor was determined to be at fault? Interface of one project with another is generally a PM function or Client function given that they are issuing the contracts…

bleh!!
bleh!!
7 years ago
Reply to  Saffa

I do agree but I have a few questions. Generally here (or I don’t know if it’s the same everywhere) if there is something important missing in the project and if the client, consultant and PM have missed it; its generally the duty of the contractor to point the mistake and inform, in writing, either the client, consultant or PM to correct it. if the client and consultant and PM have ignored these mistakes pointed out or if they have said it is not required the contractor should have received it in writing from the client/ consultant/ PM. Most of the time it would be ignored due to the cost or time frame.

So my questions are does the Contractor have any documents or proof suggesting this? if not then yes they are also to be blamed.

desertCard
desertCard
7 years ago
Reply to  bleh!!

The contractor didn’t miss anything. “a planned link to the sea “via the Abu Hamour network” had not yet been completed.” I believe they were aware of this but I’m sure were not going to delay the road opening AGAIN to wait.

KK
KK
7 years ago

So the drainage network of the new Salwa road is not connected to any outlet ? Sorry, but who designs this and approves the lay-out eventually ?

bleh!!
bleh!!
7 years ago
Reply to  KK

I second this.

Observant One
Observant One
7 years ago

I think this is a fantastic step. An actual investigation and recommendations. A real step forward in Qatar. An admission if sorts that mistakes have been made, we gave identified them and we recommend changed to mitigate the risk. A real step forward.

Martin
Martin
7 years ago

“We are making the findings public to make it clear what had happened, respecting public opinion and their right to know. The state is keen to remain transparent and realistic and protect the lives of people and public property.”

Great in respecting public opinion and the right to know now can we have the Villaggio Report ?

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
7 years ago

So who actually signed off on the project and accepted it as being complete??? Struggling to see how the contractor is at fault if they constructed in accordance to the contract design. Blame must solely fall with Ashghal and their Project Management company for not having the outfall completed to accept the drainage flows. Wonder how many other projects are in a similar state? Maybe they should ask HH the Emir not to pray for rain next winter in case more of these incompetencies come to light.
Hopefully the same team aren’t responsible for the 2022 World Cup, otherwise we could have a completed stadium without a playing surface as they couldn’t agree on which colour of grass to have.

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