Posted on June 12, 2015

The closure of the nearly one-kilometre stretch of the Najma Street between the Mall and Gulf Cinema signals has adversely affected several establishments on the eastern side of the Al Hilal area, said Gulf Times. Some of the polyclinics and the Woqod fuel station, which is roughly half way down the otherwise busy stretch, are among those heavily hit by the 45-day closure that commenced on Tuesday midnight. The road otherwise serves as a vital link to connecting not only the C-Ring and D Ring roads but also several densely populated areas of the city with the D-Ring road.

Since the closure of the Najma Street, the fuel station, where long queues of waiting vehicles was a common sight, has been deserted. When Gulf Times visited the place yesterday morning, there were hardly any vehicles at the fuel station, which also houses a convenience store and coffee shops. The scenario was not different either at the polyclinics, the vehicular accesses to which were wholly blocked from all possible directions. Even though the operations of two other clinics in the immediate neighbourhood were also hit, the impact is comparatively minimal as they have access from at least one road.

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For the second day running the traffic from the area spilled over to the other roads in the vicinity of Najma Street as commuters had no other alternative roads to reach some of the establishments in the area, in particular the medical centres. The closure has in effect created ‘a barrier’ between the residents on either sides of the Najma Street. For instance, a person staying on one side of Najma Street needs to travel at least a minimum of 2km to reach establishments just across the street.

The less said the better about the Mowasalat bus services through Najma Street. Until the closure, at least five services including the circular (94 and 49) and 11, which is perhaps the most frequent service, used to be operated through the street. Now it seems the operators themselves are confused on the alternative roads. Similarly affected are the accesses to the Sri Lankan embassy. While a bus passenger coming to the embassy could earlier walk down from the bus stop near the Woqod Fuel Station, especially while coming from the city, now is left with no option other than walking a long distance under sweltering conditions after alighting near Gulf Cinema signal.