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Broken Muscat water line dries up business

Authorities work to restore supply after third day of disruption

Gulf News

Muscat: Eateries in Muscat, especially in the south Muttrah Business District (MBD) area, have been hit hard as a breach in a main water pipeline has left several suburbs of Muscat battling a severe water shortage since Friday.

“With no water supply, we are forced to keep our restaurant closed for the second day running,” Samir Dagli, owner of the Fusion Restaurant in Muscat, told Gulf News on Monday. He added that the water supply disruption had cost his establishment 1,000 Omani riyals (Dh9,512) over two days.

Like Fusion, a majority of restaurants in the MBD area have been forced to down shutters, with water supply disrupted in the area for the third successive day. There are at least 25 restaurants within a half-kilometre radius of the MBD area.

“The business has hit hard,” the manager of a popular restaurant serving south Indian cuisine said on condition of anonymity. “We are shut since yesterday and have no hopes of opening even tomorrow.”

The leak was traced to a pipeline supplying water from the Ghubra desalination plant to old Muscat, Muttrah, Amerat, Ruwi, Wadi Kabir and Wattayah.

The damage came to light as Al Khuwair suburb was flooded early on Saturday with some establishments left in ankle-deep water.

“We are working round-the-clock on repair work but it is a bit difficult due to the location of the burst pipe,” Zahraan Al Rashidi, spokesman for the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW), told Gulf News on Monday.

He ruled out any damage caused by construction or excavation work by private contractors. “We are trying to determine [the cause] and will be sending the damaged pipes to a laboratory to find out what caused it to burst,” Al Rashidi said.

He added that the first priority would be to complete the repair work and resume normal water supply. “We are optimistic that by tomorrow we will be able to start supply but, to start with, high-rise buildings may have problems in getting water supply due to less pressure,” he said.