Safety steps must for Muttrah Souq shops

By Fahad Al Ghadani — MUSCAT: Feb. 14 – Shops selling foodstuff and other stores in the Muttrah Souq must install fire safety equipment and comply with health guidelines, failing which they will be fined, according to a source at the Muscat Municipal Council. “The municipality has invited tenders from companies to install fire and safety equipment in the shops in Muttrah souq,” said Salim al Ghammari, a Municipal Council member.
The council members had suggested earlier that foodstuff shops in the souq should be equipped with fire extinguishers and ensured they met health norms. The council worked with the Muscat Municipality to find the right solution to prevent fire accidents in the premises.
Al Ghammari, who was on Monday named the deputy chairman of a committee, will follow up on the matter. Dr Fatima al Ajmiyah was named the committee’s chairperson.
This took place in a meeting conducted by the Health, Social Development and Environment Committee at the council.
Several officials from the Public Authority for Civil Defence (PACP) and Muscat Municipality attended the meeting, in which they explained the difficulties in installing safety devices in the souq.
“PACP said a number of closed stores did not follow safety measures. Therefore, many foodstuff shops in Muttrah Souq were fined by the municipality’s inspection teams,” said Al Ghammari.
“Foodstuff has direct impact on people’s health, and vendors should ensure they store foodstuff in a proper place. We have been
asking shop owners to move to areas such as Al Amerat Industrial Area,” he said.
“The municipality will make sure these shops adopt safety and health measures, or they will be fined,” he said.
These measures, he said, are just the beginning. In the next stage, other shops will be targeted,
Al Ghammari said.