A cooler, greener capital city

Energy Monday 17/June/2019 21:21 PM
By: Times News Service

Muscat: Determined to keep its environment green and community-friendly, Muscat Municipality announced on Monday that they are working on 14 new projects to make the city greener and cleaner.
The new projects include planting trees and providing shaded areas in five public parks across Muscat as well as Al Jumaa Market in Wadi Al Kabir; along the exercise walkway behind the park and at Saih Al Dhabi Roundabout in Al Amerat; near the new building of the General Directorate in Quriyat, and along the path from Al Khuwair roundabout towards the Public Park.
The project also includes a new 15,000 square metre park that will be built in Al Khoudh to provide entertainment and help reduce pollution, as well as rehabilitating the 5.5 km area along the service road in Al Hail Al Shamaliya.
Speaking to Times of Oman, Municipal Council Member of Muscat, Mahmood Abdul Qadir Al Shahwarzi said, “Muscat Municipality is keen to expand green landscapes in Muscat Governorate, as landscaping plays an effective role in adding an aesthetic touch to cities and minimising environmental pollution.”
“All of these projects are carried out to make the city more beautiful. Afforestation projects give a better public appearance, of course, but they’re also useful in an environmental sense, because of how important trees are and also because they aid in cooling down the temperatures during summer, “he added.
“A lack of trees can disturb the ecosystem because of the benefits they bring, which include lowering pollution because they contribute oxygen, making the weather more bearable, protecting us from the heat and glare of the sun and absorbing noise,” he continued.
Muscat Municipality’s ‘afforestation strategy’ began in 2018, with a high completion rate for this year’s projects.
A spokesman for Muscat Municipality told Times of Oman, “The goals are not just about making these places more beautiful. It goes beyond that, towards creating a healthy environment free from car exhaust fumes, making the climate milder during summer, adding a factor which encourages people of all ages to exercise more often, and providing areas for families to lie on soft grass and have picnics in the afternoon and even during the night-time.”
Regarding the Al Khoudh Park, the Municipality said: “Muscat Municipality has signed an agreement with Bank Muscat to construct a park in Al Khoudh over an area of around 15,000 square metres, which will include playgrounds for children, a six-a-side football field, restrooms for men and women, green fields for trees and flowers, and a kilometre of pathways for those who enjoy strolling through the park.”
Citizens and residents in Oman welcomed the move, as well as how it’s expected to impact their lives in the future.
Asaad, an Omani living near Al Khoudh, said, “I’m very much interested in the area with the football field, since they’re going to make it easier for me to exercise.”
Vinod, who takes his family out in Al Khuwair during weekends, said, “I’m looking forward to having more grassy areas to picnic on; this is a really good job by the Municipality.”