Muscat Municipality’s appeal to public: Stop vandalising parks
Muscat Municipality has appealed to the public not to vandalise park property and equipment, as it spends thousands of rials nearly every year on their repairs.
Mubarak Mohammed al Shukaili, deputy director of nursery in the municipality’s Department of Landscaping and Gardening said, “We spend a lot of money to install equipment in parks keeping in mind safety, novelty and recreation of visitors. A large sum and lots of effort also go into their maintenance. No sooner the parks are beautified, we get calls about acts of vandalism.”
He said this is costing the municipality a lot. The parks, he said, are for people to enjoy rides, get together and spend leisure time. “So, we appeal to the public to care for these parks.” Shukaili said, “Visitors should refrain from showing their physical prowess by destroying these properties. Visitors have uprooted seasonal plants and damaged green areas. At many parks, canopy poles have been removed to make place for barbecue.”
He said that round-seated swings from Spain which could accommodate more than one child were installed at a park. “They were damaged in no time. We carried out repairs, but they were broken again in some days. “Apart from Spain we get equipment from Sweden, Finland, China, Holland, Malaysia and Turkey. We follow the European Standards for Playground Equipment: EN 1177.”
As per the standards, the playgrounds should have rubber flooring and not hard surfaces like gravel or asphalt. Because, children sometimes fall while playing. The rubber granulate lessens the impact and injury, he said. Children entering water tanks to swim, youngsters damaging plants playing football, irrigation pipes being broken, electricity boxes being opened and the wiring being tampered with, tiles being removed from walkways are some other irresponsible acts by visitors, Shukaili listed.
“We have videos of such acts of vandalism that our employees have recorded on their mobile phones.” The Directorate General of Landscaping and Gardening manages more than 135 public parks, both small and big, in Muscat governorate. Nearly 800 people are involved in maintenance of the landscaping and gardening in the governorate.