The Gulf state of Oman is planning to build a “metro” that will serve its capital Muscat and tackle road traffic jams due to a rapid rise in its population, a government official was quoted on Monday as saying. 

The project is part of the Sultanate’s long-term “strategic urban development plan” which projects the country’s population at around 7.5 million in 2040, including nearly one million in the capital, said Ibrahim Al-Waeli, Director of strategic planning at Oman’s Housing and Urban Planning. 

Waeli said the project could be launched after the completion of a study on “structural planning of the Greater Muscat” which will commence in March. 

“The study will be finished within a year and it will define the metro paths and directions…the study will also decide whether the metro would be built underground or not,” Waeli told the Omani Arabic language daily Alshabiba. 

He said the Ministry has formed a committee to follow up the project, adding that it would determine the metro path and feasibility. 

He noted that the Ministry has just awarded a contract to a foreign consultancy firm to carry out the structural planning study. 

(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)