Stinky issue: A man points to a spot where a pipe burst and flooded this street in The Gardens area. All photos were taken on October 29 Image Credit: XPRESS/Zarina Fernandes

Dubai: Residents in Al Furjan, Discovery Gardens and The Gardens are raising a stink over a terrible stench emanating daily from the irrigation pipes in the vicinity.

The offensive smell gets worse when pipes burst and flood the streets with contaminated water. On October 29, XPRESS made a visit to one such smelly spot near a mosque in The Gardens-Discovery Gardens area. There was water all over the street and the stink was unbearable.

Said Gardens resident Soumya Subramanian: “Very often pipes burst in the area, giving out an unbearable stench. My building is just around corner facing the road and I’m forced to put up with this smell everyday.”

Gaurav Saxena, who lives in Discovery Gardens, said he has to put up with this stench daily. “The foul smell gives me a headache. It is frustrating to know that nothing has been done yet,” said Saxena.

Residents suspect the stench could be caused by treated sewage water being used for irrigation.

The stink is so overwhelming that it can be smelt from a distance, right from the second signal when coming into Discovery Gardens. “You can’t even think of going out for walk as the smell is so awful that you have to hold your breath,” said a resident of the Mediterranean cluster.

Said European expat James: “Once I was waiting for a guest below my building. I was there for about 30 minutes and had a terrible headache.”

In Al Furjan residential community residents are also complaining of the foul smell. “It feels like living in a sewer,” said Mohammed Ali, 40, a Pakistani owner of a three-bed-room townhouse in Al Furjan’s Quortaj area.

He was also concerned about how the toxic environment could affect health. “There is a park just behind Zone N in Al Furjan where the smell gets unbearable in the morning and evening when the pipes are opened. Just behind my villa, there’s some work being done on the landscape and whenever the water pipes are opened the stink reaches our home. We want Nakheel to do something as soon as possible,” he said.

Two years ago, residents had raised the issue with developers Nakheel. But they say nothing has been done. A Nakheel spokesperson, however said they are working on the problem: “We have completed cleaning and rehabilitating significant areas of the irrigation network and are in the processes of activating additional measures to control the odour of the irrigation water. We are treating this matter as a high priority.”

A Dubai Municipality official said that the civic authority is not responsible for Discovery Gardens, The Gardens and Al Furjan community areas. “We don’t have any sewage treatment plants there. These have been put up by investors themselves.”