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Excerpts from UAE Dailies

Dubai to flag off four road projects to ease traffic jams

Dubai: Sep. 28: The Dubai government has decided to kick start at least four major road projects to ease traffic congestion in the city at the earliest opportunity.

The projects include the construction of a floating bridge over Dubai Creek, the replacement of the First Interchange [Defence Roundabout] with a three-tier interchange, the Dubai Outer Bypass Road and the Sufouh Roads Network.

His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved awarding the contracts and ordered to immediately start work on these vital projects.

Shaikh Mohammad also reviewed a plan of Dubai Outer Bypass Road and directed to speed up the implementation of the project.

Mattar Al Tayer, Chairman of the Board and Executive Director, Roads and Transport Authority, said the construction on the First Interchange on Shaikh Zayed would start on October 4 this year. It will be completed in 30 months at a cost of Dh617 million.

This new interchange is expected to ensure free flow of traffic on all directions from Shaikh Zayed Road, Doha Street and Al Safa Street.

The project includes the construction of a tunnel to link service road behind Mazaya Centre with the service road behind Shangrila Hotel on Shaikh Zayed Road.

The total length of bridges and ramps, which will be part of the intersection, will be more than three kilometres, while the length of tunnels will be 850 metres.

The First Intersection will also provide easy access to service roads leading to Burj Dubai community, Business Bay and surrounding areas.

Al Tayer said the construction on the Floating Bridge will also start in October this year. The bridge, first of its kind in the Gulf, will be completed in 10 months at a cost of Dh155 million.

The floating bridge will accommodate three thousand vehicles in each direction providing a quick solution to traffic jams on Al Maktoum and Al Garhoud Bridges, especially during the peak morning and evening hours.

The bridge is expected to ease traffic congestion by 37% on the Al Maktoum Bridge, which is used by more than 150,000 vehicles every day.

The RTA chief said work on the Al Sufouh Roads Network project has already started on September 18 and it will be completed by January 30, 2008. The total cost of the project is Dh220 million.

The project includes construction of a road to link Al Sufouh with Dubai Marina and expansion of the existing Dubai Marina Bridge to one lane to three lanes in each direction.

The Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has finalised plans to construct the Dubai Outer Bypass Road.

Work on the road will start by 2006 end. The project includes the expansion of the current 23km part of the Dubai Outer Bypass Road from Sharjah-Dubai borders to Dubai-Al Ain Road from two lanes to five lanes in each direction.


Surgery death inquiry to take three months

Dubai: 28 Sep.:A medical investigation into the death of a 37-year old Indian man after sinus surgery, allegedly due to malpractice, is expected to be complete by December.

Shawkat Nazir, father of a 16-month-old boy, died on September 22, ten days after he lapsed into a coma following a bilateral endoscopic sinus surgery at NMC Hospital.

The family subsequently filed a complaint with the Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms).

A senior Dohms official told Gulf News that the Morbidity and Mortalilty Committee was investigating the complaint, saying the duration of the investigation varied with each case.

However, he was confident Nazir's case would not take too long.

"It should take less than three months," he said.

He said the final report would go to the family, in case they wanted to pursue a civil case against the surgeon and the hospital. He added that the report would also be given to the police in case of a criminal proceeding.

The surgeon and the hospital could both be pen-alised if the committee found evidence of malpractice.

"It depends on the level of negligence. If serious, we might revoke [the surgeon's] licence to practice. If not, either suspension or warning," the official said.

He said the hospital might also face action if the committee concluded that they were operating under sub-standard conditions.

Tariq Zargar, a friend of Nazir, was not happy to hear of the time frame but understood the reasons behind it. "It cannot be helped. We will not interfere with the investigation. The committee has to be thorough," he said.

"We just want to know why Shawkat was left alone for more than 24 hours without being sent for a CT scan or an MRI," he continued.

An endoscopic sinus surgery is considered a routine procedure for ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialists. According to WebMD, the procedure can be performed under general anaesthesia or local anaesthesia with IV sedation with medication, and patients usually go home the same day of the procedure.


It wasn’t my fault - Dr. Akhtar

Dubai - Sep. 28: A senior doctor from New Medical Centre (NMC) hospital claims no mistakes were made when he operated on a 37-year-old man who later died. Dr Syed Waseem Akhtar spoke exclusively to 7DAYS about the tragic case of Showkat Nazir Shar, who died last Friday after suffering a cerebral haemorrhage. He had undergone routine sinus surgery three weeks earlier and police are investigating whether a medical error led to his death.

Dr Akhtar told 7DAYS the haemorrhage was “spontaneous and unrelated to the sinus operation” conducted by him.  “The patient developed an intra-cerebral haemorrhage on the day after his surgery. This haemorrhage was however not related to the surgery,” said Akhtar. He pointed out that the operation was on the front part of the skull, while bleeding occurred in the rear part, adding that he has been performing such sinus operations for six years.

“I truly regret the loss the family has suffered. However, I did what I could as a surgeon and there were no mistakes in the surgery,” said Akhtar.  Shah was operated on at NMC hospital on September 2. The operation, which only required a local anaesthetic, was over in 30 minutes, but Shah developed complications and was immediately moved to another hospital, where he was put on a ventilator.
He died three weeks later.

Police are investigating the case and Shah’s wife, Nahid, has reported the case to the Ministry of Health. 7DAYS spoke to another senior neurosurgeon who agreed that spontaneous cerebral haemorrhage is common. But, he said that air entry in the brain is a sign of haemorrhage caused by trauma.  Dr Akhtar had mentioned in his earlier medical report that the CT Scan showed air in the frontal lobe of Showkat’s brain, and a haemorrhage in the left cerebrum.

However, the hospital is still to release the final investigation report. Meanwhile, the family is still waiting for Shah’s body six days after his death.  “I feel my husband is still in pain. We want to perform his burial so that he gets peace,” Nahid told 7DAYS.  A police source said that the autopsy has still not been carried out and the body may not be released until next week. 

By Praveen Menon
Seven Days


E-tickets on offer for bus, Metro users

Dubai: Sep. 28: Passengers using public transport facilities will be able to buy e-tickets in the near future.

The e-tickets will be available for travel on public transport buses, the forthcoming Dubai Metro and water taxis.

"To initiate its e-government facilities, the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is in the process of developing its web portal," said Ahmad Hashem Bahrozyan, IT Director at the RTA.

Once the RTA's web portal is ready, it will offer online services for payment of traffic and parking fines, renewal of driving licences, car registration and a number of other e-services.

The RTA official said the signing of a three-year agreement to outsource its IT services was a major step to having a strong and secure information technology system.

"At the RTA, the IT department provides a variety of services to RTA users. Currently, the increase in demand for support services has led the IT Department to strategically outsource the Service Desk. This is one of Dubai Government department's unprecedented initiatives," he added.

According to the agreement the outsourcing company, Wipro, will be responsible for receiving users' requests (calls and e-mails) for IT services round-the-clock, and assigning a qualified support engineer for each request.


Woolly wanderer causes traffic tangles

Abu Dhabi: Sep. 28: It was almost "mission impossible" for staff members from the British Veterinary Clinic (BVC) in Abu Dhabi when they went out to chase a runaway sheep early on Wednesday morning.

The sheep was found wandering on Al Khaleej Al Arabi Street in Abu Dhabi, causing a traffic jam.

The animal was reportedly seen earlier in the morning by a man who was walking his dog. Kate Locke, an accountant, saw the sheep when she was driving to work at 8am. "I saw her on the road right in middle of traffic," she said.

Dr Katrin Jahn, veterinary surgeon at the BVC, was among the team of five who set out to catch the year-old sheep. "It was running among the cars, there was screeching of brakes everywhere, people got out of their cars," she said.

After a 30-minute chase the clinic staff finally managed to surround the sheep in a narrow area and with the help of a passer-by, caught it and carried it back to the clinic.

The group is trying to find the owner of the sheep, which could prove to be a difficult task, according to Dr Jonathan Hale, veterinary surgeon at the BVC. "The challenge is to know how to identify the owner, because there aren't any identification tags," he said.

Dr Jonathan added that if no one claimed the sheep, the clinic will "look after her and make sure she goes somewhere safe."


Russian millionaire killed at Burj Al Arab

DUBAI — Sep. 28: A Russian millionaire was killed in an alleged shootout, while another man was seriously injured in the incident that took place at the Burj Al Arab Hotel here in the small hours yesterday.

The victims, according to a hotel source, were guests. Unconfirmed reports said the millionaire was staying in one of the suites. Two men, known to him, entered his suite and shot him dead in the course of a dunken brawl, these reports said.

Sources didn’t give any more details about the crime.

Executives at Burj Al Arab declined to comment on the incident, and so did Anna Bleacker, Director of Communications and Public Relations for the Jumeirah Group.

Meanwhile, a police source confirmed the murder, but declined to give details, saying the case was being investigated.




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