OPINION

Fire risks and eyesores

The pathetic state of the medians and flower beds along major highways and roads are an embarrassment and an outrage. One of the causes behind their appalling appearance is the fact that these parts of the public road network do not fall under the jurisdiction of any one particular authority and the task of their maintenance is often ping-ponged between the Ministry of the Environment, Physical Planning and Public Works and the local authorities. Whoever is responsible, however, should be compelled to tackle the situation before it gets even worse, as many of these abandoned stretches of dirt are covered in dried weeds and garbage, posing a possible fire hazard and making the country’s thoroughfares even more unsightly. Other than the risk of a motorist tossing a lighted cigarette out of a car and setting the dry brush on fire, there is also a matter of aesthetics to consider. If the state and municipal authorities are unable or unwilling to perform this task, then they should allow the work to be placed in the hands of private companies, as is the case in many countries abroad.