GRAND PLANS FOR TRANSPORT SECTOR

By: Vinod Nair

MUSCAT: Dr Ahmed bin Mohammed al Futaisi, Minister of Transport and Communications said that the year 2015 will witness a number of major projects, including the implementation of the first line of Oman Railway (Buraimi-Sohar). He also said that during the year a number of important roads will be thrown open to public, including new parts of Bidbid/Sur, Batinah Expressway (Muscat-Barka). Contract will be also awarded for the roads that connect the Batinah Expressway and the first and second phase of Adam/Thumrait dual carriage road.

235036The ministry will also introduce the Road Management System to ensure proper and efficient maintenance of the major assets built by the Sultanate over the past four decades. He said during 2015, the ministry will continue to follow up the performance of Sohar Port to develop its services. As for Salalah Port, he said that a new liquid material terminal will be opened, which will add value to the existing services. He said that work is under way to remove cranes at Port Sultan Qaboos and other facilities related to commercial operations. Technical and maritime studies are also under way to develop PSQ as a tourism hub.

He added that the ministry will do its best to see that 90 per cent of the work is completed at Muscat International Airport by the end of 2015.

Work is also under way at Port Sultan Qaboos to remove the cranes and other facilities related to commercial operations. Technical and maritime studies for the tourism port are also still under way.

Dr Futaisi said that this year the ministry will also complete several projects in the communication sector, including the release of spectrum frequencies, revision of the Telecom Act, studies on the need to have a third operator in the market and a follow-up of the national broadband strategy.

Salim bin Mohammed al Nuaimi, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communications for Transport, reviewed the projects that will be initiated in 2015, including the Road Management System and a strategy to develop public transport, in addition to the land transport law and the truck weight station.

Said bin Hamdoon al Harthy, UnderSecretary of the Ministry of Transport and Communication for Ports and Maritime Affairs, spoke on the contracts that were awarded at the PSQ, as well as the projects that are under way in Sohar and Salalah ports.

Dr Mohammed bin Nasser al Zaabi, CEO, Public Authority for Civil Aviation (PACA), reviewed the future plan for the authority for 2015, the most important of which is the completion of the passenger terminal at Muscat International Airport. Over 90 per cent of the works at the terminal have already been completed.

The year will also see the completion of the remainder packages of the airport projects, including the opening of Salalah Airport, the third package of the passenger terminal at Muscat Airport, the integrated IT network, connecting Muscat and Salalah airports, in addition to the data and information centre. As for the meteorology projects for 2015, Zaabi said that an early warning system will be launched on March 23, coinciding with the World Meteorology Day.

Oman will also host the International Scientific Conference for Early Warning of Tsunami Waves and Research at the Western Part of the Indian Ocean on March 22 and 23. Abdul Rahman bin Salim al Hatmi, CEO, Oman Railway, spoke about the opening of the excellence centre and developing the general security and safety strategy, approving a framework for the integrated management system and enhancing the company brand image with the society and customers.

Saud al Shuaili, Director-General of Communication and Post Services at the Ministry of Transport and Communications, reviewed the second stage of the policy for the communication sector (2012-2017), National Broadband Strategy (2014-2024) and the general policy for the post sector (2010-2015).

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER

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