Dubai: Whenever it rains cats and dogs, everyone gets excited and starts planning to have a good time.
But, the story took a different turn on Wednesday as the commuters were talking about how much time they took to reach office and how difficult it was to cope with traffic jams after roads had been inundated by rain water.
No doubt, the downpour on Wednesday morning threw traffic out of gear in Ajman, Sharjah and Dubai.
It was a nightmare to commute from Sharjah to Dubai. Water logged roads, rash driving, vehicle break downs and some accidents made commuting even worse.
To be precise, it took me four hours and 15 minutes to reach the Gulf News office in Al Safa on Sheikh Zayed Road from Al Majaz in Sharjah. I am not exaggerating at all. I left home at around 9.35am and covered a distance of less than five kilometres in three hours and 45 minutes driving my car through Al Majaz and Taawun Road. The journey was smoother when I finally joined Al Ittihad Road after 1.35pm and took another 30 minutes to reach office at 1.50pm. Yes, it was already lunch break and the traffic jam was almost over in Dubai.
I should have walked
Total distance from my house to office is about 27km and my daily morning commute takes me an average of 45 minutes every day if I use my car. This distance can be covered in less than five hours if I walk but I never dared to take this option. I should have today. Instead, I again took my car and crawled on the road for four hours and 15 minutes.
I could see the agony on fellow drivers faces. Some were busy on their smartphones while many were taking photos and videos of water ponds on the road, and some ended up smoking in frustration. Some motorists even had time to step out of their cars, smoke and take photos of the ‘lovely morning’ as the traffic was not moving at all at some points.
One of the main reasons for one of the worst traffic jams in Al Taawun area is that it has one exit leading to Ittihad Road and that always becomes a bottleneck. There is need to upgrade Al Taawun bridge to increase its capacity.
The major traffic mess was mainly in Al Majaz, Al Khan and Taawun area. The industrial area was a different story altogether as most of it was flooded.
It is high time that the Sharjah Municipality should give a second thought to improve the rain drainage system in Al Majaz, Al Khan, Al Taawun areas as these are the most populated localities in Sharjah due to hundreds of high rise buildings.
Rain drainage system
Choked drainage lines should be cleaned properly before the rainy season sets in every year. Water tankers and pumping station should be installed in low-lying areas across the city to avoid water logging on crossings and major roads.
Though police vehicles were everywhere in Sharjah in a bid to ease traffic congestion, they cannot do much about the flooded roads which made it impossible for vehicles to move. Hence, the massive traffic jams leading to long tailbacks.
I am sure a lot of people might have missed their flights as well and I can well imagine the economic losses companies suffer due to late arrival of staff. Many offices reported low turn-out of employees as well.