Mus­cat Fes­ti­val to re­main an­nual af­fair: H E Sheikh

Park­ing fees in­creased last year to ra­tio­nalise costs

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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