The Director of the Water Filling Stations Department at the Ministry of Electricity and Water, Eng. Falah Al-Subaie, says there is a comprehensive plan to develop 26 stations distributed over the northern, southern and central regions of the country.
Al-Subaie told a local Arabic daily that the water filling stations represent one of the ministry’s sources of revenue for selling water, as its proceeds increased in 2021, recording 4.7 million dinars, compared to 4.5 million in 2020, pointing to doing away with cash payment since 2011 and replacing it with prepaid cards system.
He pointed out that the card is worth 150 dinars and the cost of issuing the card is 1.500 dinars and provides the consumer 300,000 gallons that can be refilled again, which reduces waste and saves time of the consumer.
He said that the ministry’s continued work to increase its revenues is what prompted it to think of maximizing the use of the areas of some stations, especially in areas far from the residential blocs, and the areas of each of them range between 10 and 20 thousand square meters.
He pointed out that the ministry addressed the Economic Committee of the Council of Ministers about 6 months ago to allow small business owners to set up canteens, restaurants and cafes in vacant areas to serve visitors.
He indicated that the development plan includes border areas in Abdali and Qashaniya, and the ministry will change the concrete floors of 10 stations in the southern region extending from Mangaf to Wafra.
He pointed out that a new tender is being floated worth about two million dinars to build 26 new buildings in the current locations of the stations, but on a smaller area and newer methods that rely on clean energy to provide maintenance, especially since the majority of the current buildings are made of prefabricated material or are old, some of which are 30 years old.
In response to a question about road damage, Al-Subaie explained that the responsibility of the “electricity” lies only at the station’s borders, and “we have written to the “Works” and the “Roads Authority” to cooperate with us in improving the quality of the roads surrounding some stations in Khaitan, Jahra and Al Rawdatain.
He added that the capacity of water tanks starts from 3 thousand gallons and increases to 5 thousand and 7 thousand up to 10 thousand gallons, and that the administration recommended in a letter to the ministry’s leaders to cancel the licenses of tanks capacity of 10 thousand gallons in order to preserve roads like in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries.
It is scheduled to discuss the recommendation with the responsible authorities, represented by the Ministry of the Interior, Public Works, and the Public Authority for Roads and Land Transport, to authorize the optimum weights that suit the endurance of the roads.
Al-Subaie stated that facilitating consumers requires the allocation of 5 points of sale for the prepaid recharge cards in Jahra, Jabriya, Mangaf, Wafra and Abdali, and the estuaries of stations that witness crowding have also been increased, as the number of estuaries at stations ranges from 10 to 30.
Engineer, Falah Al-Subaie, confirmed that a round-the-clock periodic examination of the network’s water is carried out by the Water Resources Center in the Ministry.