Muscat: With more than 122 illegal possessions found in Muscat in 2020, the Muscat Municipality has opened a file to make the community familiar with this issue and its dimensions and societal impacts, in terms of health and other aspects related to security and safety.
Until the end of November 2020, the number of illegal possessions registered in Seeb was 22, as compared to 18 during 2019. Al Amerat registered about 28 random possessions, and 21 in Quriyat, and 31 in Muttrah.
The Directorate General of Muscat Municipality in Bausher registered 22 possessions in 2019 and 20 in 2020.
Illegal possessions can happen in many forms; either by construction of random rooms inside houses or farms, or fencing a land plot outside the original plot limits, or construction of mobile houses (caravans) illegally, or putting bricks indicating a boundary of a plot or planting trees.
Even additions made to houses using unstable materials is also a form of illegal possession, as well as cutting parts of a mountain or digging wells on government land illegally. Despite the awareness efforts and supportive role of laws and legislations meant to address this issue, the problem is still continuing.
The municipal regulations and decisions classifies the technical violations committed against local order No. 23/92 according to the gravity of the infraction. Construction, drilling in public land or making home additions exceeding 100 sqm on an existing building or under construction without licences and without extracting approved modification maps are all classified as violations.
Dealing with these violations varies, as some of them are directed to the violator with some awareness and guidance to remove the violation. In the event the violator fails to comply with this, the principle of immediate removal of these occupancies shall be dealt with in accordance with the regulations followed in this regard, or referring the issue to the competent authorities to remove those violations.
The Muscat Municipality has decided to remove random possessions after verifying that there are no documents proving the legality of the plot, and for those possessions made by an unknown person. A board is placed on the site urging the person to appear before the Municipality with his documents proving the ownership.
In case the violator fails to appear, contact is made with the sheikh of the region to find out the owner. If not available, a violation is filed against an unknown person for the follow-up department of the competent directorate, and the rest of the procedures are completed and referred to the public prosecution to issue a ruling for removal.