Author: SALEM BIN AHMAD SAHAB | AL-MADINAH
Saturday 8 January 2011
But in return these agencies should fulfill their duties toward the public, especially in cases of those who comply with the rules. These agencies should also be aware of how much they are hurting citizens due to lapses in fulfilling their mandatory duties.
Let me give two examples.
One is the Traffic Department. It has introduced the Saher electronic traffic-monitoring system to detect violations. It is expected that Saher would make available more time for traffic police to perform other essential duties. However, it seems the bureaucratic bottleneck still prevails to a greater extent. When I was in Madinah on my way to Jeddah two weeks ago, I had to wait for about 40 minutes at a major highway interchange connecting Tabuk with Madinah and smaller towns and cities in the region. This traffic chaos could have been solved within minutes had there been a traffic cop at the scene. This is an outcome of our traffic culture, which is still inefficient as evident to anyone who has seen a Madinah traffic cop snoozing on the job.
The second example is that municipalities in the Kingdom who ask citizens to keep the roads and streets clean and tidy. They slap a fine of SR150 for those who violate the regulations in this respect. This is a good thing, but it would be better if the municipalities installed a sufficient amount of trash bins that would help reduce the number of stinky, overflowing bins surrounded by cats, rats and insects.
The maintenance department of the municipality also requires maintenance. For example, the street lights of service roads I've seen where two beautiful pedestrian paths have been destroyed and have remained so for two months.
Oh, municipality people, please be shining models, not tarnished candles. (firstname.lastname@example.org)