A’Suwaiq, The Ministerial Committee tasked with assessing the damage caused to citizens’ homes and properties in areas that came directly under the impact of the recent cyclone/Shaheen/ today held its fourth meeting here to look into updates and efforts made to deal with the aftermath of the tropical condition.

The meeting, held at the police station here, was chaired by Sultan Salim Al Habsi, Minister of finance, Chairman of the Committee.

The committee studied efforts for the restoration of properties and electrical networks in houses of citizens and the return of families to their homes. The committee noted that the target was largely met, except in the case of some houses where internal electrical connections are still pending.

The committee also looked into the opening of main and internal roads for traffic and the removal of debris from them.

The committee got updates from specialists of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning about various impacts of the pandemic on properties. The Ministry’s team reviewed the outcome of assessment of the stricken homes and presented a set of proposals and durable solutions to protect the safety of citizens.

Meanwhile, updates about the repair of internal roads were given by a team comprising the Engineering Services Division of the Sultan’s Armed Forces (SAF), the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology, the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources and the municipalities of North Al Batinah and South Al Batinah.

The committee gave instructions to speed up the maintenance of roads. Proposed recommendations in this respect will be submitted to the authorities concerned to avoid the repetition of such damage to roads and culverts during climatic conditions in future.

To this effect, the committee took two decisions:

- To exempt citizens who lost their documents in the stricken areas from relevant fees when they apply for alternative documents.

- To float a tender for the maintenance of two protection dams and 24 aflaj damaged during the tropical condition. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources has been tasked with finalizing the related procedures.

At the conclusion of its meeting, the committee expressed thanks and appreciation for the efforts exerted in different sectors to restore normalcy in response to the Royal directives of His Majesty Sultan Haitham Bin Tarik

Al Habsi pointed out that the Ministry of Housing and Urban Planning has been tasked with designing layouts for the construction of 328 houses for citizens whose houses were completely damaged during the tropical condition.

In a statement to Oman News Agency (ONA) and Oman TV, Al Habsi said that 80 aflaj and five dams incurred damage and that a tender was awarded for repairing 24 aflaj and two dams.

The rest of the dams will be repaired as soon as technical procedures are finalized, he said, adding that the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Water Resources was entrusted to conduct a study for protection dams along the course of wadis.

Al Habsi affirmed that it was agreed with the authorities concerned to draw out temporary solutions for citizens’ access to their homes in the stricken areas till such time that internal road maintenance has been completed.

Source: Oman News Agency