Today, Monday, the Ministry of Construction and Housing announced the development of a comprehensive plan to address the problem of roads outside the governorates, including 3 axes, while it presented what it described as a radical solution to it.
The Director General of Roads and Bridges, Hussein Jabbar Kazem, told the official agency, followed by the “National News Center”: “The department is responsible for the road network outside the governorates and the link between them,” noting that “there is a plan that includes 3 axes, the first of which includes providing the network with second roads for corridors, As some governorates are linked to one lane, which poses a risk and many accidents on road pedestrians, and the department has worked during the past years to establish second lanes parallel to the existing ones, and most governorates today are linked to two lanes back and forth, and the completion rate is about 90 percent.
He added that "the second axis includes the improvement of the Baghdad-Basra highway, as parts of it were opened, as well as the opening of the Baghdad-Hilla road," noting that "the department is moving towards linking Baghdad with the western provinces through the rehabilitation of this road."
Kazem pointed out that "the third axis includes the construction of diversions when roads pass through districts and city centers, especially as it constitutes a decade of congestion and traffic jams when traversed by administrative units," noting that "the department has a plan to divert the path of roads outside cities, in order to transfer the movement of loads." on them, especially as they pose damage to internal roads.”
He pointed out, "high completion rates have been achieved in the field of road diversions, including the Maysan governorate detour, and the Wasit detour, in which the completion rates have reached 70 percent, in addition to a detour in Dhi Qar and a detour in Tikrit. It forms a knot on the Baghdad-Kirkuk road."
He stressed, "Rehabilitation and maintenance of external roads between governorates need financing, since the maintenance process is expensive and difficult to finance by the state directly," noting that "the fees collected by vehicle drivers, through the transactions conducted by the Traffic Directorate, go 55 percent." Including it to the Department of Roads and Bridges and distributed to the governorates according to the return of each governorate, but the Ministry of Finance restricted the amounts as final revenue that enters the state budget without being transferred to the department, and this is a major reason not to make a complete and real plan for external roads, and to work with the available amounts only.” .
On the issue of transferring roads to investment, the Director General of Roads and Bridges declared, “The investment is of two types, the construction of roads by investment, meaning that the investor makes a shortcut in return for a financial levy, and there is a reluctance from this type on the part of investors as a result of the security conditions and abuses and others.”
He added, "The second type includes operating the road with investment, that is, maintaining the road and rehabilitating it with periodic maintenance according to conditions and standards, and this can be achieved by collecting small amounts from the vehicles, and instead of paying the fees to traffic, they go to the investors," noting that "the department nominated 4 roads as investment opportunities, and this is a radical solution to the problem of roads in Iraq, but the matter requires coordination with the National Investment Commission because it is the competent authority, and this matter must be included under the investment law.”
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