Many construction projects hit by cyclone in Muscat


Nagarjuna Construction Company (NCC), which is undertaking the dualisation of the Al Amerat — Qurayat road, says raging floodwaters did considerable damage to work already completed on the project. “More than six months of continuous day-and-night work has literally gone down the drain,” said Sanjay Raina, NCC Director of Projects (Middle East Operations). “Significant portions of earthworks, as well as the reinforcement done for bridges, were badly hit by the storm. Some of the shuttering materials used for the bridgework ended up as far away as Yiti beach.”

NCC also lost some construction material stockpiled at site, while a few pieces of excavators and other equipment were put out of commission by the flooding. But despite the setbacks, the company hopes to resume work on the project in a couple of days. Tropical cyclone Gonu also proved a spanner in the works for the Seeb Airport Interchange project which is being implemented by Carillion Alawi LLC. Disruption to the construction site has been “extensive”, according to a project official.

Floodwaters damaged culverts that were due for concretising, as well as washed away the diversion road and access to the site. Waterlogging also put some equipment out of action. But despite the disruption, Carillion Alawi aims to meet completion deadlines in view of the “strategic importance” of the project.
Construction sites along the routes of the Southern Expressway and the Central Corridor projects also took a significant knock from Gonu. A representative of Galfar Engineering & Contracting, which is building the 54 km long Expressway at a cost of $ 342 million, says damage was “inevitable” given Gonu’s destructive punch. “Ongoing work, particularly where the culverts were being made, suffered quite a bit of damage,” he said.

But precautionary measures taken by the company before the tropical cyclone hit helped minimise the impact, he explained. Sites were secured ahead of the storm, while equipment was moved to safety. The company is now assisting the authorities in road repair works in Muscat. “Galfar has now diverted all its resources in Muscat towards rehabilitation efforts on behalf of Muscat Municipality. We are now concentrating on helping the Municipality restore communication links and carry out some clean-up work as well,” the representative said, adding that Galfar is undertaking urgent road repair works at various sites damaged by floodwaters at Qurum.

Other construction projects suffered little damage in the storm. Consolidated Contractors Company (Oman) LLC (CCC) reported that damage to its Bandar Jissah — Yiti road project, as well as the Al Khuwair roundabout development, was “slight”. Zahi Saba, Project Manager, attributed Gonu’s minimal impact on CCC’s construction sites to the company’s “rigorous precautionary measures”.

CCC is also playing a key role in supporting Muscat Municipality in various rehabilitation initiatives around the city. The company’s services have been enlisted in carrying out repairs along Al Bahri Street (Muttrah corniche) and the junction at Royal Hospital, as well as in creating channels along 18 November road to help clear waterlogged areas. CCC has also provided equipment such as shovels, generators, pumps and trucks, as well as some 400 workers, to help the Municipality in clean-up efforts, says Saba.


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