A powerful lesson

AFTER the Great Dubai Power Crash of June 9, the government, nay, all the people including businessmen, real estate biggies, industrialists, bankers, hospitals, airport authorities, any which section of society, should add a few new words to their dictionary, like back-up power systems.

By Talk Of The Town

Published: Fri 10 Jun 2005, 11:33 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 7:57 PM

The time has come for them to learn the meaning of generators and inverters. The city has surged ahead bustling with economic activity, earning it the tag "Booming City." But, it did not reckon with a power breakdown, and that too of the magnitude of Thursday's outage.

The city went topsy-turvy and life came to a grinding halt following the grid breakdown, or whatever caused it. Could the chaos have been minimised? The answer is a firm 'Yes'. In such situations, communication is the single most important factor, and if mobile phones and other communication systems go on the blinker, it is akin to living in the dark ages.

Solution – exclusive powerlines for this sector and back-up systems, as is the case in most other countries. The chaos on the roads could have been checked, and some accidents could perhaps have been even prevented had the traffic signals network been switched over to a back-up power system.

Cancellations and delays in flight schedules could have been minimised if the airport network had the facility of a back-up power system. Watchmen in high-rise buildings wouldn't have been wrestling with lift doors to let out desperate people caught unawares in dark elevators if the buildings had back-up generator systems. Banking activity would not have been effected if the network and individual banks had their own back-up generators. The list could go on.

The unprecedented power crash, however, should change the scenario entirely. Power plants are man-made, and can break down, as has been witnessed even in the most advanced countries like the US, UK, Canada and Japan. The only way to overcome such situations is to have emergency plans in place, and alternatives like back-up systems to ensure that at least the critical sectors continue to function as normally as is possible.

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