By: Kaushalendra Singh
SALALAH: Quality comes at a price. So is development. The residents of Salalah are tackling new phenomenon of traffic jams due to various development works going on in several parts of the city. Though optimistic about their quality of life in future, today they are struggling to catch up with time in their offices, schools and colleges, particularly those who have to commute daily towards East of Al Nahda roundabout for their daily work.
Their late arrival yesterday was counted not in minutes but more than an hour. “It took us more than hour to reach college and drop our children to school from Al Nahda roundabout to Salalah College of Technology. The three to four-kilometre stretch is covered generally in 15-20 minutes,” said a lecturer couple who lives in Al Qouf area.
The impact of traffic jam was seen mainly during peak hours — 7 am – 9 am and 1 pm – 2.30 pm when the vehicles on entire seven kilometre stretch were moving at snail’s pace.
The unprecedented traffic snarl between the Al Maha petrol station in New Salalah up to Sadah junction was due to ongoing work on dismantling of Sadah roundabout and its conversion into signalled junction under an over bridge. Work on the over bridge is also under progress.
Ahmed, a resident of Sadah, said things have to be streamlined well in advance as anything like this would make things worse during the Khareef season, countdown for which begins with the advent of April.
Al Nahda roundabout has turned into a traffic bottleneck due to conversion of double lane into single lane for construction related works and pressure of traffic coming from all the sides to go to airport, Sadah and Dahariz, where most of the educational institutions including Dhofar University, College of Applied Sciences, Salalah College of Technology, Indian School, Pakistan School and British School are located.
The recent phenomenon of traffic jam in Salalah is also due to the fact that large scale expansion work of Al Robat Street is under progress. Some activity or the other is seen regularly between Iitin and Sadah in terms of road diversions and new signage to regulate traffic in the wake of conversion of existing four-lane Al Robat Street into six-lane and two major bridges coming at Iitin and Sadah.
An official of Dhofar Municipality assured that the issue of traffic congestion in Salalah is a matter of time and these temporary diversions should be taken in a right stride. “A flyover at the Al Robat-Iitin interchange is the first road bridge project in a series of road-related enhancements in Salalah. It will surely ease traffic flow, which is growing day by day due to large scale expansion of the city.
SOURCE: OMAN DAILY OBSERVER