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In troubled waters

 David Solomon

MUSCAT

A busy road linking Azaiba with Ghubra is flooded by waste water pumped out of a construction site making life miserable for motorists and nearby businesses.

A long stretch of the Al Safa Street has been lying inundated for the last eight months and the stench is leaving residents and passerby uncomfortable.

219105Many businesses complain that their revenue has come down by more than 50 per cent as customers stay away to avoid the stink.

The nearly 40-foot wide stretch of ankle deep water causes long traffic snarls during peak hours as motorists struggle to negotiate the part of road that crosses the wadi through which the water has been flowing.

219080Pedestrians get a rude shock when passing vehicles spray the muddy water soiling their clothes.

The construction site is near Ghala from where the water has been diverted to the wadi near the Azaiba Roundabout.

The authorities have dug a canal along the edge of the wadi. The winding 6-foot-wide open drain disgorges the water to the road. The muddy water flows across the road close to an open area where prelim driving tests are conducted.

webThe road about 500 metres from the 18 November Street is low-lying. Though concrete pipes, which were supposed to be laid, are lying idle in the area, the work has not commenced yet, say residents.

The filthy water in the wadi has already become a breeding ground for mosquitoes. The area is close to a walkway used by fitness enthusiasts. “The stench and mosquitoes are ruining our morning exercise. It is also causing respiratory problems for some,” say John Abraham, a regular walker and nearby resident.

219082This walkway was renovated last year as part of the government’s plan to provide more facilities for fitness-conscious residents of the capital city.

The authorities appear aware of the issue as they have stocked huge reinforced concrete pipes. But there seems to be not hope for road users as work has not begun.

The manager in-charge of the Bousher office of the Muscat Municipality was unavailable for comments when contacted.

Al Safa road is often used by commuters during peak hours to bypass the choked Sultan Qaboos Street and 18 November Street and reach Al Khuwair area where offices of many ministries and foreign embassies are located.

This road is also the main access for students and teachers of several schools.

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