Muscat Festival to remain annual affair: H E Sheikh
Parking fees increased last year to rationalise costs
H E Mohsin bin Mohammed bin Ali al Sheikh, chairman of Muscat Municipality has said that the Muscat Festival will remain an annual affair and that the municipality will take the lead in providing better public services.
As part of measures to make the festival more compact, Muscat Municipality aims to conduct all events and activities at one location. H E Sheikh said, “We have been communicating with the relevant authorities in this regard. This will be revealed when the picture becomes clear.”
H E Sheikh said that the festival’s organisation will remain with Muscat Municipality. “There are no plans to transfer the organisation to any other in- stitution. It is not going to be a biennial affair but it will continue to be an annual event.”
He said that the municipality is making every effort to improve public services in the gover- norate. “To regulate the use of parking space, we increased the parking fees in 2016. The fees had not seen any increase since 2003 even though inflation rate had gone up considerably requiring us to spend more to add new parking machines and cover the operational costs.”
H E Sheikh said that the municipality was forced to increase the fees as many car owners used to keep parking slots blocked particularly in commercial areas for a longer duration due to the lower rates. “The new rates ensure that people will park only as per their requirement. It will help everyone as more cars hit the roads with limited access to parking slots.”
He said that Muscat Municipality being one of the administrative apparatus units of the state seeks to improve the level of services provided in various areas such as healthcare, afforestation and technical services.
“Our services are commensurate to expansion of urban areas resulting in an increase in expenses. Therefore, some of the administrative fees are being evaluated for a hike.”
H E Sheikh said that there are plans to privatise municipal work to provide better services. “We have privatised several municipal services like those at the waterfronts in Seeb and Muttrah, upkeep of parks and hiring manpower to carry out cleanliness work in some areas. Waste management services have already been transferred to Be’ah. It will start in the wilayat of Seeb in the first phase.”
H E Mohsin bin Mohammed bin Ali al Sheikh