Ashghal overcomes several challenges when implementing projects
The Public Works Authority (Ashghal) successfully overcame several challenges during the implementation of the projects. “Implementing road and infrastructure projects in existing residential areas requires a different process than implementing main roads and highways. Internal road works are located in densely populated residential areas and close to citizens’ homes, and sometimes in high traffic areas, ”notes an official statement.
“One of the main challenges are the narrow inland roads. This requires working in phases on the road and setting up multiple traffic diversions while providing entrances for residents and safe lanes for pedestrians. The extension of infrastructure lines in these areas also requires excavations up to 15 m below the road surface. With the rocky nature of most areas, necessary excavation work can only be done at limited times of the day to avoid disturbing residents too much.
“Most of this work is done by micro-tunnel technique using the tunnel boring machine (TBM) below the earth’s surface to implement deep excavations. Residents may not notice that there is work. underway behind barriers, but work is in fact being put in meters below the surface, ”the statement noted.
Another challenge is the high groundwater level due to sewage leakage from houses, which must be addressed before implementing the necessary infrastructure, with continuous pumping and drainage of water during implementation. In addition, the demands of service entities that provide residential areas with telecommunications networks, electricity, water and other services are taken into account in local road projects. This requires direct coordination with all service entities in the country and with residents for home connections.
“It is also important to protect the existing underground services in residential areas when carrying out any excavations, to ensure that they are not affected and that there is a continuity of work in order to do not affect residents.
* Contract roles improved to overcome challenges
To implement the projects, Ashghal signed several memoranda of understanding with various government departments and entities. It is about strengthening cooperation between all parties and benefiting from resources and expertise in many areas, in the interest of the public and citizens.
Since 2019, Ashghal has launched a package of contractual improvements for infrastructure projects in citizen housing estates and existing areas with the aim of streamlining the implementation of works and reducing their impact on the daily lives of residents, while by responding quickly to their requests and suggestions. .
One of these contractual enrichments is to divide the works of each road and infrastructure project into several geographical areas (zoning), in order to minimize the negative effects of the construction works instead of carrying out works throughout the project area. simultaneously.
In addition, the improved contracts include improving the overall appearance of the project site, early site preparation as well as the application of Lean Construction principles which help to overcome many challenges facing projects.
Collaborative planning sessions are held to identify and manage potential challenges. These sessions take place at the Project Performance Monitoring Center, which is also one of the new procedures included in the reinforced contracts for citizen housing estates. This center monitors the performance of the project in all areas to deal with any challenges or problems.
The improved contracts have resulted in tangible improvements represented by the ability to set more precise timetables for the completion of work, improving the health and safety of workers and increasing the pace of work.
In addition, Ashghal monitors the performance of contractors in all areas of implementation, including sustainability and environment, health and safety, public relations and coordination with relevant authorities, using a system of key performance indicators (KPI). Ashghal deducts a portion of the contractor’s payments for default in any of these areas.
An example of the challenges faced by the Project Performance Monitoring Center at Al Khuraitiyat and at the Izghawa Project (Package 3) implemented by Ashghal, is the time required to supply certain materials such as deep well lining materials. The project team developed an alternative coating design based on flexible steel (mild steel) instead of stainless steel. Thus, the delivery time has become considerably shorter. The project team was also able to find a solution to the dewatering of the groundwater by constructing a temporary lagoon, which made it possible to start the project works on time, in addition to saving money.
* Improve communication with residents
The strengthened contracts include the appointment of Qatari or Qatari-born public relations officers, to coordinate with residents on works that may affect their daily lives, such as traffic diversion, drainage connections, etc. daily communication with residents to inform them of the progress of the project and the services it offers, and to respond to their comments, requests or suggestions.
In addition, posters are distributed to all houses in the project area. These posters contain project information and contact numbers for communicating directly with public relations officers with any questions or requests. It should be noted that Ashghal takes into account all the comments of residents to take advantage of them in improving the implementation of the works and mitigating the effects of the project.
The improved contracts also include the establishment of a system of key performance indicators to assess the performance of contractors in terms of response and communication with residents. It also motivates entrepreneurs to implement community initiatives. For example, some of the Ashghal contractors help the residents to move the trees to another location while assigning workers to look after the trees until the work is complete, then they return the trees to their original location according to the guidelines. new designs.
In order to ensure residents’ satisfaction with the performance of the entrepreneurs, Ashghal has assigned an electronic questionnaire to the subdivisions and existing areas of the citizens, through which residents can assess the performance of the entrepreneurs on a quarterly basis.
In the KPI system, part of the contractor’s payments are put on hold, and these are only paid out if the inhabitants of the area are satisfied. This confirms Ashghal’s focus on fulfilling its mission of providing world-class infrastructure while achieving customer satisfaction.
“Ashghal understands the inconvenience caused by construction works in residential areas and we thank you for your cooperation. We assure you that we strive to complete infrastructure development projects for” citizen “housing estates as quickly as possible. possible and with the highest quality, ”the statement added.