Sunday, December 03
06:10 PM

Transportation woes


Muscat – The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Information Technology (MTCIT) recently announced that it had registered more than 1,440 violations against expatriate workers for transporting passengers without a licence and 546 violations of transporting and delivering goods without a licence also against expatriate workers.

These acts violate the Land Transport Law issued by Royal Decree No 10/2016 and its regulations, MTCIT stated.

Social media is currently rife with reports of expats being fined ‘unfairly’, some claiming they drove with a friend to a supermarket where they were fined RO200.

Another complainant said that he was with his brother when he was stopped outside a supermarket and fined despite repeated requests to verify that the passenger was his brother.

Considering the ministry has intensified inspection of vehicles involved in illegal transport of passengers and goods, should it spread more awareness on the rules? Here is what Muscat Daily readers said on the issue –

Ramesh Babu
Private sector employee

I am aware of this rule but I thought what was being circulated now is old. I am not sure how it went viral suddenly now. The authorities must make some clarifications and specify what is allowed and disallowed. If instances of being fined for driving with one’s brother as passenger are true, then that’s very unfair.

Mustafa Malik

It is indeed true that there are many independent drivers who transport people without valid permission. There are many such drivers who transport schoolchildren. But instead of such hefty fines, the authorities must look at the reasons behind these activities. They will find that the main reason is very high taxi fares, compelling people to look for cheaper options for school transportation and airport pickup and drops.

Anil Kumar
Private sector employee

The Ministry of Transport is responsible for ensuring that the public is aware of the rules and regulations governing transportation in the country. To ensure that people are informed, it is important to spread awareness about these transport rules. This can be done through a variety of methods such as campaigns, advertisements and workshops, and the ministry can ensure that more people are aware of the transport rules and regulations. Additionally, by engaging with local media outlets and using social media platforms, the ministry can reach out to even more people and spread even more awareness about its transport rules. Furthermore, the ministry has also increased its enforcement efforts by deploying additional personnel in areas prone to illegal transportation activities. In addition, it has also been working closely with local authorities to ensure that violations are dealt with swiftly and effectively.

Mohammad al Balushi
Private sector employee

I understand that the situation is a little complicated; one needs to look into the matter seriously. While it deprives local taxi drivers an opportunity to earn their living, a fine of RO200 levied on an expatriate for transporting his brother or friend is not fair. The ministry must clearly state the rules on its website in both Arabic and English.

Omer Asmat Khan

Owners of taxis and rent-a-cars typically raise significant funding before launching their businesses, albeit some do so illegally, which is totally unethical. The people who are genuinely working hard are getting affected by them. The ministry, too, finds it challenging to identify the fraudsters. Therefore, in my opinion, I don’t think the ministry is to blame at all. But yes, they should run more and more campaigns on social media to create awareness about their transportation rules.

Hareesh Adiyeri Kavodi
Private sector employee

The government should spread more awareness about these illegal activities. Such an exercise will also support Omani drivers. The government should go ahead and enforce the rule; it has my full support.

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