Losing out on sleep because of construction/demolition near your home? You needn’t suffer in silence. Law is on your side. A source at the Muscat Municipality said companies that want to carry out construction/demolition activity at nights, especially in the residential areas, should obtain licence for the same from the authorities concerned. “Residents affected by such activity (construction or demolition) have the right to approach the authorities with their grievance.” Section 104 of the Oman Construction Law says no company can carry out construction activity between sunset and sunrise (night) unless a written approval is obtained from the municipality.
The ‘Residential Rights’, as declared in Article 105 under Municipality Laws in 1992, says that building construction/ demolition or mountain demolition should ensure that no resident is affected and it should be carried out quietly, ensuring the privacy of residents, and without affecting trees and plants, pedestrians, public facilities and in accordance with the National Heritage Protection Law. “We all need to know and raise awareness about ‘Residential Rights’. One can contact Muscat Municipality on hotline 1111 or Royal Oman Police (ROP) on 9999 when our rights as a resident are violated,” said Lamis al Bakry, an auditor.
Residents can also complain to the Public Prosecution within a week from the date of violation of the residential rights.
Section 107 of the same law says companies stopped from carrying out such activity will be asked to “sign a guarantee letter” before they can resume work.
She said she had complained against constant noise, disturbance and environmental pollution in her neighbourhood due to demolition of buildings nearby.
Contractors were issued notices and ordered to carry out demolition and construction activities only between 9 am and 5 pm.
They were also asked to inform residents in writing two weeks in advance when undertaking such work.
They were asked to spray water to ensure the dust settles down and doesn’t affect residents.
According to the municipality, such activities should be stopped during weekends or public holidays. Companies should follow the HSE (health, safety and environment) standards that will safeguard residents and neighbourhoods from the adverse effects of demolition/construction.