In three days, 23 illegal wells found in Oman

MUSCAT: The Ministry of Agricultural Wealth, Fisheries and Water Resources said that the water control team at the General Directorate of Agricultural, Fisheries and Water Resources in the Governorate of North Al Batinah managed to seize 23 modern wells in a number of homes in the wilayat of Liwa without prior permission from the ministry in just three days.

The ministry added that the necessary legal procedures are being completed in this regard.

The Ministry stressed the necessity of complying with the Water Resources Protection Law No. 29/2009 based on Article (6) which prohibits doing so before obtaining the necessary license.

The penalty for drilling a new unlicensed well shall be punished with imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and a fine not exceeding OMR 2000, or both. The penalty shall be doubled in the event of the violation being repeated.

Recently, the Ministry formed a working group to curb the phenomenon of unlicensed wells headed by the Director General of the Water Department, the Director General of Operations at the Royal Oman Police, the Director General of Labor Welfare at the Ministry of Labor, the Assistant Public Prosecutor, the Director of the Legal Department and the Director of the Water Licensing Department as member and rapporteur.

For his part, Engineer Maqbool Al-Rawahi, Director of the Water Licensing Department at the Ministry of Agricultural Wealth, Fisheries and Water Resources, issued guidelines for obtaining a license to drill any new well.

The guidelines

  • A valid title deed or usufruct contract for the site to be excavated
  • The site must be outside the Ihrams of the Aflaj (3.5 km).
  • Obtaining approvals from the competent authorities in the case of digging wells to assist the aflaj and public wells
  • That the site is outside the protection areas of the drinking water supply fields (the red and orange area)
  • That the site is free of disputes, objections and complaints

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