Oman highway to displace 11000

By Richard High21 October 2008

Construction of a new, 240 km-long coastal highway in the Batinah region of Oman will displace about 11000 people, according to local newspaper The Khaleej Times.

Re-housing the 11000 people will see Al Rajhi Development Company (ARDC) construct 2200 houses at a cost of OMR 148 million (US$ 384 million).

Construction of the new homes, which will be built in the Barka, Musanah, Liwa and Shinas districts, is expected to take 42 months, said the report. About 140 km of internal roads will also be constructed.

National Economy Minister Ahmed bin Abdulnabi Macki was quoted as saying the tender for the 132 km first phase of the new highway would be released this month. It will consist of two stages covering a distance of 66 km each.

The minister added that designs for the road were prepared after extensive environmental studies and incorporated future tourism plans for the region. Studies are also underway, added the minister, to develop infrastructure in various regions of the country to "meet the requirements of the social and economic growth taking place in the country", cheif among which would be the country's first railway line.

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