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Muscat residents demand tougher steps to protect beaches

Posted on June 24, 2024

Muscat – Despite repeated warnings from authorities against barbecuing, driving and littering on beaches, some individuals continue to do so.

Muscat Daily interviewed several beachgoers during the Eid al Adha holiday, who expressed concern over these violations and called for stricter enforcement measures.

Recounting his experience, Muscat resident Saif al Rawahi said, “My family and I visited Ghubra Beach on the third day of Eid, only to find charcoal scattered on the sand, leading to an injury in my foot. I urge relevant authorities to instal surveillance cameras to monitor violations and prevent such incidents from recurring on beaches.”

Motorists continuing to drive with impunity on beaches, despite awareness efforts to stop such activities, irks Khalid al Balushi from Seeb. “There are signs and awareness campaigns by the municipality, but motorists continue to drive on beaches. I propose the installation of barriers to restrict vehicle access to beaches in Seeb and Ghubra,” he urged.

Expressing disappointment over littering, Salim al Hosani from Bausher, spoke of how some people leave waste on beaches even though there are ample garbage bins provided by the municipality. “I urge authorities to implement strict measures and increase fines to deter those who defile the natural beauty of our beaches.”

The call for enhanced enforcement and stricter measures underscores the community’s desire to preserve Oman’s coastal environments during festive seasons and beyond.

On June 19, Muscat Municipality issued a statement emphasising the importance of ensuring an enjoyable Eid al Adha holiday for the public. It highlighted the fact that grilling or lighting fires in non-designated areas will result in a fine of RO100. ‘Offenders will also be held accountable for rectifying any damage caused.’

The statement outlined the harmful effects of grilling in non-designated areas, including damage to public facilities, disturbance to visitors and residents, and emission of fumes and unpleasant odors. ‘Muscat Municipality strictly prohibits barbecuing in beaches, gardens, parks and other green spaces, urging the public to use designated sites for such activities.’

In May, the civic body issued guidelines aimed at preventing vehicles from accessing beaches. It underscored the negative impacts of vehicular traffic on marine life and the environment, emphasising the fact that beaches are public places meant for relaxation and enjoyment of the natural environment.

The statement listed several problems associated with vehicles driving on beaches, including reckless driving posing risks to beachgoers, smoke emissions damaging marine life, and loud engine noises causing inconvenience and anxiety.

Muscat Municipality encouraged community members to report violations on beaches through its dedicated call centre – 1111.


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