For nearby residents, open souq in Al Seeb is a mess

Muscat, July 2  –
The open trading area, also called the ‘open souq’, in the Wilayat of Seeb is a hub of activity that sees both nearby residents as well as those from Muscat Governorate and other areas.
Locally referred to as ‘Souq Al Harameiya’, it is a place where hundreds of people buy essential and inexpensive commodities every day. Of late, residents — a new residential area has sprung up at the place — have been complaining about the stench emanating from a slaughterhouse nearby and the “mess” at the souq.
“The area is a total mess,” a visitor told the Observer.
Residents living around the souq are clearly upset. “The stench and the noise is unbearable,” said one of them.
“The Muscat Municipality must identify a suitable place and ask them to move there,” said another visitor.
The municipality, he felt, should show concern for the requirements of the area which is witnessing a rapid demographic growth.
“My friend spent six hours during Eid al Fitr to get his sacrifice ready,” said another visitor. Another grouse is that although the souq sells a range of stuff, including animals, children’s toys, clothes and food, it does not even have a fence. Many strongly felt price control was needed at the market.
As part of a health awareness campaign, the municipality had directed the people to go directly to slaughterhouses either in Seeb or Al Amerat. “But the municipality was unable to handle the rush,” he said.
The Muscat Municipality had signed an agreement with Oman Livestock Company to operate municipal slaughterhouses in the wilayats of Al Amerat and Seeb for five years. The agreement included the operation of both slaughterhouses seven days a week and provision of necessary human resources during seasonal periods — Ramadhan, holidays and vacations — when the number of livestock for slaughter increases.