Delay in Alqosh-Sheikhan highway expansion causes further casualties

Ninewa, 2022: The main road between al-Qosh subdistrict of Ninewa and Badriya division in northern Mosul is narrow and crowded. Ammar Aziz

By Ammar Aziz in Ninewa

Eight members of a Christian family died in a traffic accident on a highway which five months ago, the Prime Minister decided to make it two lanes and instructed Ninewa administration to implement it during the current year yet the project has not been launched.

Eight members of a family, including five children, were killed on October 8th at night in a car accident between a cargo truck and a private vehicle on the main road between al-Qush subdistrict of Ninewa province under the federal Iraqi government and Sheikhan district of Duhok Northern province, under the Kurdistan Regional Government.

A report by KirkukNow end of May found out that the High Committee for the Reconstruction of Mosul, oversighted by the prime minister's office on May 8th have instructed the Ninewa Roads and Bridges Directorate to estimate the construction of the second side of the main road of Alqosh subdistrict of Tel Kaif District, 45 km north of the city of Mosul.

Sherwan Dubardani, a member of the Iraqi parliament from the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), who met with governor of Ninewa Najim Al-Jiburi, said the head of the Mosul reconstruction committee was also present at the meeting.

"The two-sided road has been included in the province's projects for this year, but has not yet been awarded to any contractor yet.”

Ninewa, October 9, 2022: A truck overturned on the road to Al-Qush. KirkukNow

"The Ninewa provincial administration has the necessary funds, currently about two trillion dinars available, but I do not hide from you that there is external interference (outside the province) and caused the failure to implement the project,” Dubardani added without naming any party.

"We must be honest, the governor himself is very eager to work on the project ... he wants to start in the morning.”

Earlier, Sharif Sulaiman, an Ezidi member of the Iraqi parliamentMP, told KirkukNow 90 people have been killed and injured in traffic accidents on the road in the past two years.

"We have received the approval of the reconstruction committee through the Ministry of Reconstruction and the governor of Ninewa to make the road two-sided. The project is scheduled to be completed in two phases this year," Sulaiman said.

Two other traffic accidents occurred on Sunday, October 9th yet no deaths reported.

The road, which runs along the Ba'adre division to Alqosh and to the Badriya division in northern Mosul, is about 22 kilometers long and less than six meters wide.

Al-Qush subdistrict embraces 34 villages and three compounds, some of the residents of the district are still displaced. Its population was over 60,000 until mid-2014 before the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ISIS, some of whom migrated to the United States and Europe. The majority of its residents are Christians, with Ezidis (Yazidis), Kurdish and Arab Muslims at the outskirts.

Ninewa, October 9, 2022: A car overturned on the road to Al-Qosh subdistrict. Alqosh Traffic Police

"People are killed every day. We don't understand why the road is not being doubled," Bishop Sabt Habib, bishop of Al-Qush and its surroundings, told KirkukNow on Sunday.

The district administration has sent five separate letters to the Iraqi and Kurdistan Regional Governments in the past four years to make the road two-sided, as it is a trade route between Turkey and Iraq, making a traffic that leads to frequent traffic accidents.

The district administration has sent five separate letters to Baghdad and Erbil in the past four years to make the road two-sided.

"No date has been set for the start and completion of the project, only the meeting emphasized that the technical problems should be resolved," Dubardani said.

"We hope to start the implementation of the project soon.”

Al-Qush bishop sent an official letter to the Iraqi prime minister and the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) on Sunday, asking them not to delay the project for "technical reasons.”

Residents of Al-Qush, Fayda, parts of Telkef and Sheikhan districts travel through this road, which is the road of about 100 villages, in addition to the daily traffic of thousands of large trucks to the Ibrahim Khalil border gate toward Turkey and vice versa.

In 2020, more than 8,186 traffic accidents were registered in Iraq, excluding the Kurdistan Region, including 232 accidents in Ninewa province, killing 112 people and injuring 178 others, including 20 accidents in the district of Tilkif; There were 14 deaths and 18 injuries, according to official figures of the Iraqi government.

  • FB
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • YT