KOM2 likely to be demolished

By: Kabeer Yousuf

MUSCAT: The Knowledge Oasis Muscat (KOM), one of Oman’s iconic cluster of buildings, will mostly likely be demolishing KOM2 building after it was found that the maintenance and repairs of the cracks would be far from affordable, it is learnt.

The building, which is part of the KOM edifices opened in 2003 and houses a number of companies, branches and reach out offices of high-value firms such as Bank Muscat and Oman Air, was found to have developed cracks on its walls early this year following which the companies were requested to move out.

Later, international consultants have been appointed to study the damage and they found the damage is beyond repair and hence demolishing the same and constructing a new one in its place is the only option, according to an official associated with the salvage task. “The cracks are beyond repair, and we will most likely to have the KOM2 written off. A new building to compensate the existing one would be the only option, and we recommend the construction of the same by the contractor and he has to bear the entire cost,” he said.

290640The 12-year-old KOM is the Sultanate of Oman’s flagship technology park and symbolises successful public-private partnership in nurturing knowledge-based businesses. KOM has so far succeeded in bringing an environment in which budding entrepreneurs, small and medium-sized enterprises and established multi-nationals can coexist, innovate and flourish within a Middle East setting. Its strategic location helped the resident offices gain regional and international communication grids which offered them full access to emerging markets in the region, Indian sub-continent and Africa.

Following the cracks in the building, and after initial checks, it was recommended to evacuate the building as a safety precaution for the employees, as well as to undertake detailed examination of the building to facilitate maintenance procedures and to avoid any inconvenience to companies and clients. The evacuation was carried out at the expenses of KOM from March 17.

These companies were provided alternative offices in the other buildings without any interruption in their routine work. Later on March 24 the building was closed and no one was allowed to enter the building without permission from KOM’s Department of Operations. The Public Establishment for Industrial Estates (PEIE), represented by KOM, went ahead with legal action.

SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER

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