x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Truckers cheer new RAK road after four-year delay

Drivers say trip from Saqr Port to Siji takes two hours, but the return journey takes six-and-a-half hours.

Workers at Pakistan Tyre Repairing Workshop on Mohammed Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Road, the main road for trucks through Ras al Khaimah City. Jeff Topping / The National
Workers at Pakistan Tyre Repairing Workshop on Mohammed Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Road, the main road for trucks through Ras al Khaimah City. Jeff Topping / The National

RAS AL KHAIMAH // Twice a day, seven days a week, 36-year-old Jakseer Singh drives 55 kilometres from Saqr Port to Siji.

It takes him up to two hours to drive across RAK city. The return trip takes six-and-a-half hours.

"Broken, it's all broken: Ras Al Khaimah is all broken," he said. "The whole road is broken from Rams to RAK."

Abid Khan, who owns the haulage company, Al Majid Contracting RAK, has waited for years for construction to begin on the RAK ring road.

At night he sits with friends on a couch outside Peshawar Puncture Repairs shop and watches the lorries pass through the city centre.

He is delighted to know work will begin after a four-year delay. "They should have done it much earlier but all is well that is well," Mr Khan said. "As long as they do it with good material to international standards."

Mr Khan spends Dh1,000 to Dh2,000 a month on maintenance for each of his lorries. Tyres wear out in three or four months because of the bad roads.

"In the inner city it's very difficult for these trucks to carry the load. It is very dangerous for the tyres and other parts of the trucks. For instance, suspension is very averse to these roads."

Because fuel is expensive -4.5 litres of diesel costs Dh14.50 - drivers make adjustments.

"That is why transporters are trying to carry more and more because it is expensive compared with nearby countries," Mr Khan said.

 

azacharias@thenational.ae