Al Nahda residents left in lurch

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Al Nahda residents left in lurch

Residents of Al Nahda in Dubai are angry at being left in the dark, and want the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to finish work started more than two years ago on their street.

By Sarah Young

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Published: Tue 27 Aug 2013, 10:07 AM

Last updated: Tue 7 Apr 2015, 7:41 PM

Resident and IT worker Mazhar Ali said he and others living in 4th street, near Hessa Tower exit 69 off Ittihad Road, were frustrated with the poor quality of road near their residence, and the lack of streetlights which left the area in complete darkness at night.

A road without street lights at Al Nahda 1 which has become a popular residential area in Dubai. — KT photo by M. Sajjad

Ali, who has lived there for two years, said residents in about 10 buildings were having to put up with a dirt road that was poorly constructed and not finished, filled with potholes, and a safety hazard to motorists and pedestrians.

“There’s no proper road on the back entrance, which is the entrance people use.

“People are just parking their cars in the sand. A couple of times I’ve seen cars getting stuck.

“People just throw rubbish and things there. My car tyre was punctured by a nail (recently).”

Ali said he had lodged a complaint on the RTA helpline, but had received no response yet.

Maitha Bin Adai, CEO of the Traffic and Roads Agency, said the agency had a planned schedule in place for road works and projects which also included street lighting.

Works in Al Nahda-1 would be done in line with that schedule, the official said.

Bin Adai did not provide dates for when this work was expected to be done, and did not respond directly to the resident’s complaints.

The other key concern was the lack of street lights, with car headlights the only visible lights during the nighttime.

“This is a matter of safety concern too as pedestrians have a tough time walking on the edge of the road trying to hail a cab or take a bus.

“There are two bus stops on the road, and people are standing in pitch darkness there. It’s not safe.

“Most of the people have cars but if you have to walk even to the car it’s very difficult. It’s not a nice feeling.

“I don’t know of any cases of mugging or anything, but I see police patrolling quite a lot these days.”

He said he had heard there had been a plan to build a proper road in the area a couple of years ago.

“I don’t know if they cancelled it, I just want them to come and have a look.

“(And) it’s not a large piece of land to install street lights along.

“Instead of focusing and spending a huge amount of money in setting up Salik gates, why not focus on areas like these that need attention? Every resident has the right to live decently, (especially) after paying a huge amount of rent that keeps rising.”

Fellow resident Aikaf Hassan, who has lived there for three years, said RTA workers had come about two years ago to begin work on the road, but after struggling to get parked cars moved, they left again after about two weeks and had not been back since.

Their building entrance was “dirty and ugly” thanks to the amount of sand and dirt which came in from the road, which was frustrating especially given the rent was very high, he said.

He often had to park his car far away and walk, so it would not get dirty, he said.

When driving at night, he had to put his lights on high beam to ensure he could see if there were any pedestrians or children around, as did other oncoming drivers, which could cause an accident, he said.

“How have they approved this as a residential area when it’s pitch dark? There’re two bus stops on that road too. It’s not safe.”

Neither the RTA nor the municipality responded in time to comment on the issue.

sarah@khaleejtimes.com



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