It's not exactly news that our roadwork system isn't the most effective in the world. Whenever a budgeted amount goes towards building something, somehow the final spent amount doesn't always equal that. Where does the rest of the money go? Who knows..
Anyway, situations like that result in delays in construction, as well as compromises in the final product; just as an example, let's talk about the Bukuwara Road. This road (in Riffa) is a busy one, full of shops, restaurants among other establishments, and also seems to be the 'hangout' for a lot of teenage drivers who just got their driving licenses (and some people who are a little older, too). Just stand on a spot in the road and watch the same people come and go.. come and go... come and go...
But anyhow, that's not the point. The point is that for years, this road wasn't in the greatest shape, and renovations were finally planned. The road was filled with road-works for around a year or so, and when done, the final product seemed to look good; straight roads, no pot-holes, new pavements, etc.
A few weeks after the road was completed, I passed by there with a local Riffa resident. I spotted this:
What is that? Turns out that there were two thick metal sheets covering something in the road. As cars kept crossing over it, one of the sheets budged to reveal a hole in the road; a good 1.5 or 2 meters wide, and pretty deep:
So my friend went to explain that a substantial amount of the money that went into renovating the roads sort of got lost in someones pocket along the way, and eventually the road was rebuilt using a lot of "shortcuts". A few days ago, part of the road just collapsed, leaving a big hole in its place. The next day, the workers came to fill it in.
A few days later, another hole materialized. Again, they filled it in next day. And then another..
These holes are pretty big; a car can get stuck in one of them. A little child can fall in them and get hurt pretty badly. It's pretty scary that our public infrastructure can be compromised because of someones greed; a lot of harm could come out of this.
So now I look at the collapsed bridge disaster in Minnesota, USA a few days ago and think; this could very easily happen here. How often are our bridges looked at to see how adequate they are? How much has their structural strength been compromised because of similar conduct by our officials?
Just imagine, Seef flyover collapsing? Or one of the Muharraq Bridges? Hamad Town/Riffa flyovers? I'm also pretty sure our rescue services aren't as capable of handling big disasters as the US services are.