Since the weather has become pleasant over the past few months, my family and I have made it a point to go to Al Majaz Waterfront for a walk in the evenings. However, we have stopped going there due to the foul smell that surrounds the park. I am not sure if this is caused due to the fertilisers or the water that is used for the plants, but the stench is unbearable.
Earlier, the park’s management used to switch on the water sprinklers after midnight, almost an hour before the facility closes for the public at 1am. But for the past few weeks, I have observed that they have started watering the plants during early evenings, such as by 8 or 9pm, making it difficult for families to enjoy their time outdoors. Often, the stench is so intense that it becomes nearly impossible to breathe the air.
I do not understand why they water the plants in the presence of the crowd. It makes the grass extremely wet, emits a smell similar to that of sewage and waste materials and above all, makes clothes dirty because some of the sprinklers and pipes are placed in such a manner that the water splashes straight onto the park-goers.
I am not against the idea of watering and nurturing the plants, but I am upset about the foul smell that is emitted from the area. It is like having a jog near the garbage bins and is reason enough to ruin the mood. I have returned home on many occasions due to this.
Also, the jogging track at Majaz Waterfront welcomes a large number of fitness enthusiasts daily. However, a certain part of the track cannot be used at times because of the inappropriately located sprinklers that results in the water flowing onto it. The track becomes quite slippery and wet due to the excessive water, which is why majority of joggers are compelled to walk around it or elsewhere. I have also witnessed this track being used for purposes other than walking or jogging by families.
Children can be seen playing on the track and also cycling on it. Some of the joggers have also met with unexpected accidents on the track because of this. The track should always be kept clean and dry so that it does not cause any discomfort to visitors. Moreover, the security present at the park should monitor the track at all times to prevent children from cycling or playing on it.
My request to the concerned authorities is to refrain from watering the plants during the peak hours so that families and fitness enthusiasts will not be forced to return home. Also, something has to be done about the smell emitting from the water and fertilisers to make the experience less unpleasant for those around.
The reader is a resident based in Sharjah.
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Editor’s note: Sharjah Municipality was contacted for further comments. Despite repeated reminders, they did not respond.