Muscat: Dirty, dangerous and badly parked vehicles should be a thing of the past in the car parks at Sahwa, following a decision by Muscat Municipality to introduce a new metered parking scheme in the area.
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In the new system, which will be operational from September, parking will cost 200 baisas for each hour and OMR50 for a month.
The meters will operate between 8 am and 1 pm and from 4 pm to 9 pm, except Friday ,Saturday and official public holidays.
According to officials at Muscat Municipality, as well as the growing density of population in the area, poor parking behaviour made fees necessary. Random parking and leaving vehicles in the car park for extended periods were among the problems faced.
In a statement, the municipality said: “Muscat Municipality has in the past taken measures to prevent random parking of vehicles at the Sahwa parking lot. Previous regulations meant that prolonged parking outside the permitted times when visiting the parks was forbidden, and the Municipality put alert stickers on vehicles, advising drivers of the regulation and giving them a deadline to remove the vehicle. However, these measures haven't guaranteed a complete solution to the issue.”
The municipality explained that leaving vehicles neglected for months has a negative effect on the appearance of the city, as the cars could accumulate dirt and dust, attracting rodents and causing a fire risk. In addition, they cause obstruction to traffic movement and deprive others who wish to visit Sahwa of a parking space.
Article 8 of administrative decision No. 151/2016 on the regulation of the use of public parking lots in Muscat prohibits owners of vehicles from various activities, such as parking in public lots without paying the fees due or exceeding the time period allowed for each paid fee.
It also forbids any action that would interfere with the use of meters, disrupt public parking lots or traffic movement such as parking on yellow lines or driving over the curbs or sidewalks to park on areas not designated for such purpose.
Parking in the areas allocated for government departments, diplomatic and consular authorities and Gulf, Arab and international organizations is not allowed, nor should you park in spaces reserved for those with special needs or Imams of mosques.
Parking fees will be applied in the daytime period only; visitors to the area can still park without charge in the evening, after 9pm. Visitors can pay for their parking in various ways, either by cash payment in the meters, SMS's, Baladiyyti app or even on the Muscat Municipality website.