40 YEARS -
By Maurice Gent -
maurice.gent@ omanobserver.om -
Yes. It's that time of the year again. Another major transport conference is taking place at the end of this month. Do we need to talk so much about Transport and its future? The answer is that we do.
Oman's transport system is vital to its future. The amount of money spent on roads, ports, customs and air transport is enormous. It is therefore very important that we get it right.
The most important issue of all is infrastructure. It is a question of making sure that each section, road, rail, air and maritime all know what they are doing and that the overall plan makes sense.
The best principle to go by is that of cohesion — ensuring that road, rail, sea and air know very well what each section of the transport system is doing.
This is particularly important for Oman as it is currently considering what kind of new railway system it should introduce — electric or diesel. We have fortunately a good system for making decisions in the transport industry.
The hope and expectations must therefore be that of correct decision.
Certainly, the burden on the decision makers is great. If Oman gets the kind of transport system which serves its needs then it will be of great value to the nation.
Of course a lot of experts are being consulted but what matters at the end of the day is that Oman emerges with a modern fit-for-purpose transport system that meets the needs of an ambitious and developing nation.
A modern integrated transport system will not only be good for Oman, it will make the functioning of the whole GCC much more efficient.
The logistics industry must also play its part.
Fortunately Oman does have a fast developing logistics industry.
The key question is that Oman can harness its resources in a way, which will provide a positive and imaginative programme that will provide a valid and profitable transport system, which links
well with those of other GCC nations.
The vital principle is that all parts of the transport network work together in a way that ensures road, rail, sea and air function in an integrated manner.