Friday, May 25, 2012

Residents welcome moves to cut odour

News that the awful smell from a Dubai sewage plant could be virtually eradicated has been welcomed by people who own property nearby - some of whom said the smell is so bad they moved out. News that the awful smell from a Dubai sewage plant could be virtually eradicated has been welcomed by people who own property nearby - some of whom said the smell is so bad they moved out. A number of people who own homes in the Persia and Morocco clusters of International City, as well as in nearby Al Warqa, told 7DAYS they have chosen to rent out their homes rather than live in them because of the pong. ​ The plant’s smell has driven some people away from the area, residents claim “When I took up my home in Morocco two years ago the stench was awful, especially at night due to the strong winds. I couldn’t even use the balcony,” said Abdul Kadir Rafeeq, a lecturer in Dubai who bought his one-bedroom flat for Dhs300,000. “Besides the inconvenience, I worried for the health of my two daughters.” Dubai Municipality said on Tuesday it hopes to reduce odour emissions from Al Aweer Sewage Treatment Plant by up to 98 per cent using new treatment processes. It admitted it had received complaints about the problem. Iranian businessman Behram Khoadad is another homeowner who says he was driven away, this time from the Persia cluster. And, he said even those he rented his apartment to could not bear it and moved out after about two months. But, the homeowners said they are looking forward to moving back once the pong is gone. Mohammed Abdulaziz Najm, director of sewage treatment at the municipality, said studies had been conducted over a number of years to come up with the best solution. “With more developments approaching the plant, the health of people and safety of the environment have become a major priority,” he said, adding a special task force was formed about six months ago to deal with the problem. “Through this task force and our improved methods, we have so far attained a 98 per cent reduction in the smell and we have seen a remarkable decline in complaints,” said Rashid Karkain, head of the Al Aweer operation section. However, some tenants at International City said yesterday they could still smell the plant.

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