Tuesday, September 27, 2022 | Safar 30, 1444 H
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Rail, road projects on the priority list

Muscat: Nearly after five years, the development of a railway network is on agenda as one of the top priorities of the government.

With a special emphasis on the logistic sector, the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology in its press conference said the focus will be improving the connectivity with Saudi Arabia and within the country.

Speaking exclusively to the Observer, Said bin Hamoud al Maawali, Minister of Transport, Communications, and Information Technology, said: "As far as the train is concerned, this year the ministry is actively pursuing the possibilities of the project."

The government will seek investments to establish a railway line from Suhar to the Khazaen Dry Port area, which will be then linked to neighboring Saudi Arabia to boost the logistics sector.

There are also plans to work on a metro railway project for Muscat as the authorities seek to develop the capital as a major metropolis in the coming years.

"The committee to study metro project for Muscat submitted its first report last week. The committee included representatives of all relevant authorities," said the minister.

Among others, the government said that there has been an increase of five percent in the direct import of containers in 2022 and the revenues of land transport and maritime affairs increased by 10 percent.

The number of ships received by the ports of the Sultanate of Oman increased by 1.3 percent, while the handling of standard containers increased by 2 percent.

Meanwhile, Khamis bin Mohammed al Shammaki, the Undersecretary for land transport, spoke about the new projects, especially those linking the tourist sites.

Speaking to Observer, he said, “Jabal Akhdar is one of them as the place has so much potential. Presently, there is only one road to reach Jabal Akhdar which is hard to navigate for smaller cars. So, the ministry is looking into one or two alternatives where even smaller cars could travel with ease."

The ministry is also studying a road connecting with Masirah. "Batinah Coastal Road Project is one of the Ministry's top priorities this year and it will start the tender process will be imitated before the second quarter of the year," the undersecretary said.

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