3/07/2012

SAUDI ARABIA: Scores of trucks stuck at Saudi border

Gulf News
By Abdulla Rasheed, Abu Dhabi Editor and Binsal Abdul Kader, Staff Reporter 

Abu Dhabi: Slow clearance by border authorities has been causing a more than 10-kilometre long tailback on the Al Ghuwaifat border during the past two weeks, truck drivers told Gulf News yesterday.

They said the situation reminded them of the crises which occurred several times since June 2009 when the queue of trucks stretched for kilometres on the Al Sila-Al Ghuwaifat border, causing misery for hundreds of truck drivers.
“There was a 14-kilometre long queue on the road on Monday night,” said Ashir, an Indian truck driver. “Now there is an eight- kilometre long queue which may extend up to 13 to 14 kilometres by late night as many trucks reach the border late evening,” he said at 6pm yesterday.

Drivers said about 4,000 trucks were stuck at the border due to slow clearance. Earlier it used to take 24 to 36 hours to cross the border, but now it takes four to five days, a driver said.

They said they were not aware of the reason behind the delay. “There has been strong, dusty wind and it has been very cold at night. Moreover the day temperature will also start going up in the coming days,” one driver said.

But a senior UAE official told Gulf News the problem would be solved very soon.
“We have sent senior officials to the border to sort out the problem in consultation with Saudi Authorities,” said Major General Nasser Al Awadi Al Menhali, acting Assistant Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Naturalisation and Residency.
He said the issue was set to be solved by yesterday evening.