Bold decisions solve disputes

By: Vinod Nair

MUSCAT: Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications, said strong decisions have to be taken when disputes arise while undertaking important infrastructure projects in the country. He said when contractors always want to finish their projects as per schedule, but on occasions unforeseen situations crop up like demands for realignment of a particular route (in case of road projects) or getting timely approvals from various authorities.

The ministry, on its part, will try its best to address these issues and help them get essential clearances at the earliest.

Contractors on their part should put a good team for the project and see that they have enough manpower resources to complete the project on time. He said there has been an improvement on the matter of delivering projects on time in recent times. On the issue of MC6 package (IT and security systems) for the airports, the minister said that the earlier contractor was not able to meet the contractual obligations, subsequently resulting in delay in the delivery of this package as per schedule.

He said the employees had no issues with the earlier contractor, but they were naturally worried about the job security following the termination of that contract. As the new contractor has agreed to take all these employees, the problem has been resolved and the project will now continue without delay, especially at the Salalah airport.

On opening of new Salalah International Airport, Dr Futaisi said that a message has been sent to all stakeholders and contractors working on the project about the plans to make it operational by khareef season.

He said that all construction activities are now complete and IT related works are now under way. A familiarisation programme about its operational modalities has to be held before it is thrown open to public.

Dr Futaisi said that plans are under way for revamp the services of Oman National transport Company (ONTC) within this year with the arrival of modern buses to its fleet. He said that are plans to appoint an international partner to operate these new revamped services that will be offered by the company.


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