In many Middle Eastern capitals, such as Cairo in Egypt or Beirut in Lebanon, the streets “regularly crowded”. But for some, the regional prize goes to Baghdad, the city “perpetual traffic jams” Or “motorists spend hours a day stuck in exhaust fumes” letter Economist.
Thus, every day 2.7 million cars flock to the Iraqi capital. However, the road network of the city, planners explain, corresponds to an agglomeration with a population of 200,000 people. Moreover, there is no ring road in Baghdad. Result : “Trucks of the country go from north to south [et vice-versa] cross the city. Added to this is the fact that “millions of duty-free cars entered through uncontrolled checkpoints.”
This concentration of vehicles only exacerbates pollution and, as a result, raises temperatures, while the country is considered one of the most vulnerable in the world to global warming.
True, Prime Minister Mohammad Chia Al-Sudani succeeded in removing some of the checkpoints and partially reopening the safe Green Zone, where seats of power and embassies have been concentrated since 2003. But this is still not enough.
Corruption and negligence
Despite the very large oil revenues of the country, “Baghdad’s road network has hardly changed since the 1980s.” Except that the population of Baghdad has tripled since then.
Wars and economic sanctions are to blame for everything, the British weekly explains, but also and above all “Corruption and negligence” parties that share power in Iraq.
However, there are plenty of ideas. In 1983, Saddam Hussein unveiled plans for a subway. Ten years ago, Iraq signed a contract with Alstom to build a flyover. And there is “abundance” deck plans, underpasses and other bus lanes. “But the approval of these plans is blocked in Parliament.”
“Instead of pouring money into investment projects, his many factions prefer emergency budgets that allow them to pay out oil revenues to their supporters in the form of wages.”
Source: Courrier International
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