The Gulf Today, 16 Dec 2009
The contact centre at Dubai Municipality (DM) has received a total of 2,165 calls from the residents of the emirate during the rainy days, with an average waiting time of 59 seconds between each call, revealed a senior DM official.
Khalid AbdulRahim Abdullah, Director of Customer Relations Department at the DM, said that the municipality has recorded at least 728 reports from the public, most of them faced serious disorders and blockage of the drainage networks.
"The demands were mounted for water extraction from residential areas as well as removal of fallen trees on the main roads. And some people complained about the delay of the emergency services that should be on time and quickly," he added.
Abdul Majeed Sifai, Director of the Sewage Network Department at DM said that the municipality's rainwater committee mainly focused on areas including Al Quoz, Al Qusais and Sonapur districts, which are having poor drainage network system. Additional employees were called to join work on a 12-hour shift due to the heavy pressure.
"Equipped with 70 portable pumps and 40 tankers of the municipality, over 300 workers were active round the clock since Thursday to avoid stagnation and to tackle the situation."
"The municipal workers were also deployed to remove rain water from streets and drainages in areas such as Al Rashidiya, Abu Hail, Al Barsha, Sheikh Zayed Road and Emirates Road areas," he added.
Sifai said the rain water extraction works were executed on the main roads in the vital areas, as priority was given to highways, where concentration of water or fallen trees affected traffic flow.
"The existing drainage system is capable of handling about 35 cubic millimetres of rain water. The emirate of Dubai received an unexpected amount of rainfall that came about 70 cubic millimetres that caused longer clean-up activities," he noted.
"It's estimated that 600,000 cubic metres of rain water have been cleared from flooded streets and roads.
According to Abdulla, the municipality contact centre continued to receive non-stop calls for 48 hours due to the incessant rainfall for three days.
"The DM team dealt with the emergencies of extracting rainwater from various areas simultaneously, as soon as possible in a record time of three minutes after receiving the call," he added.