Shatti al Qurm offers many a quiet nook to unwind with light chitchat on a weekend after dusk. However, while some spend quality time with the family, there are others who indulge in vandalism by defacing public property
The Arabian Sea at Shatti al Qurm always seems to be in its element after dusk, when the high tide comes in, bringing shattered shells, asphyxiated fish and typical marine odours. But, if you’re not watchful, you just might get tossed into the foamy maze!
While relaxing or enjoying a few moments of leisure by the seaside, make sure you are at a secure spot where you can take in the sea breeze without losing your stance. Some barricades installed at some vantage points have been vandalised, leaving behind precarious perches that could prove fatal for frolicking youth or unsuspecting adults.
Vandal acts come in many different forms, from littering or scribbling cheeky grafitti to outright destruction of public property – all of it done with not just juvenie playfullness but also with a careless attitude and disregard for civic efforts towards keeping the city clean and tidy.
It is common sight to see families or groups of revellers settling on the sands or the adjacent lawns towards the far end of Shatti al Qurm (near ‘W’ hotel) for an evening of leisure. Sadly, it is also common practice for some people to leave behing their trash without a conscience despite the fact that trash bins of different sizes have been placed at many different locations.
A tiny board holds out a humble appeal to keep the beach beautiful and clean – however, the writing on the board has been washed out by the sands of time, quite literally. There are also more prominent boards at some corners which indicate prohibited activity – like driving cars or riding bikes on the sandy stretch, littering, having a barbecue, bringing along pets or tampering with plants/trees, which attract a fine of RO100. But, every now and then, you might see all of these being violated in the absence of watchful eyes on vandals or violators.
Some beach goers say, the presence of a vigilance booth, even if it is not always manned, would deter miscreants from having a field day. Others draw attention towards the need for regular patrolling as well as civic inspections to repair or remove damaged infrastructure or street furniture in the vicinity of the beach. Merely placing bins and boards with in no way ensure order on the beach or curb vandalism, they assert.
On the brighter side, there is a section where a set of exercise machines have been installed to channelise the energies of youths who come to the beach in the morning/evening. While some earnestly avail of these to shape up, by and large, they seem to facilitate play rather than work outs. In some other locations, however, such machines have proved to be immensely useful for those who do not have access to gyms.
Kids revelry (ball/frisbee)