Sewage threat over debt row

Nov

26

2014

A DISPUTE over an outstanding debt of BD1 million could leave residents of a luxury housing development in Riffa in a river of sewage.

Dubai-based Metito, which operates a plant that treats wastewater in Riffa Views, the Royal Golf Club and Awali, will shut down operations on Sunday, claiming the properties have failed to pay a combined total of BD1m in the last three years.

It has terminated a 20-year contract, originally scheduled to end in 2027, with the Royal Golf Club, which is responsible for waste water treatment and irrigation in all three areas.

It now means the company is owed an additional BD2m, said Metito general manager Walid Madawar.

The developments produce up to 18,000 cubic metres of raw sewage daily, which is expected to overflow two weeks after the company flips the switch.

“There will be a flood of raw sewage in a high-end residential area in Riffa,” Mr Madawar told the GDN.

“This will have drastic environmental impact and will affect hundreds of people.

“This will affect all the residents of Riffa Views and Awali, which we really don’t want to do, but you have to understand that we just cannot afford to.

“We have employees to pay, a facility to run and massive overheads – it is unsustainable for us to keep on running.

“All we are getting paid now are our operating expenses and because of that we have continued to run the facility, but it doesn’t cover all the expenses and as a private business we can’t just keep working for free.”

The plant also supplied treated water to Riffa Views and the golf course for irrigation, which will be halted.

“It is winter and Riffa Views has a desalination plant for irrigation, but I don’t think it is enough for everything, so eventually the plant life will die,” said Mr Madawar.

“We don’t want all these people to be affected so we have kept them informed about what is happening through the homeowners group – we have informed the Works Ministry and of course all the shareholders.

“They (property management) have trucks that they can use to remove sewage to another treatment plant, but it is completely unsustainable and I expect by the middle of December we will see raw sewage starting to overflow.”

However, Mr Madawar said they could reconsider terminating the contract if the property managers cough up the cash.

Riffa Views managing director Yasser Alraiee said they were working on interim solutions to prevent the waste from overflowing.

“The main problem we have is that many residents are unwilling to pay the service charge,” he told the GDN.

“They (Metito) have restricted the flow before and we were able to handle the excess sewage by transporting it by trucks to the Tubli (Waste Water Treatment) Plant, but we cannot handle all of it.

“Of course measures will be taken and the Works Ministry is fully aware of the situation.

“In the end the contract is with the golf club, but it affects us all.”

Royal Golf Club management could not be reached for comment yesterday.

Source: http://www.gulf-daily-news.com/NewsDetails.aspx?storyid=390787

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