No power tariff hike plans in Sharjah
Sharjah - In exclusive interview with Khaleej Times, Sewa chief reveals move to improve utility services
There is no plan to increase the tariff of electricity and water in Sharjah, a top official has told Khaleej Times.
In an exclusive interview, Dr Obaid Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa), said electricity, water and gas tariff in the emirate is the second lowest in the country. Reports about the authority planning to hike the tariff are just rumours, he stressed.
The Sewa charges 55 fils per kilowatt of electricity.
Sewa bills are strictly based on consumption, he said. Some people reported getting higher-than-usual bills after returning from vacation. "Such residents might have left some electric devices on before leaving for vacation.
"It is always advisable to disconnect the electricity connection temporarily when leaving on vacation," Dr Al Leem said.
Some residents complain of inaccurate meters, he said.
"When we receive complaints regarding this, we send a technician to inspect the meter. If it is found faulty, the meter is replaced at no extra cost to the customer."
The Sewa is planning to replace existing meters in the emirate with smart ones, said Dr Al Leem.
This will ensure accurate readings are recorded.
"The Sewa is making all efforts to be on the top of the list of government departments that use smart technology in offering services," he said.
The Sewa, he said, is making "great efforts" in enhancing the power and water network in the emirate. There has been no power outages as a result of services rendered by the authority, he said.
"For example, in the industrial area, there was a power outage as some workshop owners used a power generator illegally and connected it to a Sewa line, which resulted in a heavy load on the line."
Sewa inspectors managed to detect the illegal usage and referred the violators to the legal authorities concerned.
Power outages were also reported in some buildings after owners failed to carry out the required maintenance works.
Power network upgraded
The Sewa recently upgraded the power network in the emirate in line with the best international standards, said Dr Al Leem.
"The Sewa has carried out improvement and maintenance works in 10,000 sub power stations," he said. Power consumption in the emirate reaches 2,500MW per day in July and August, for which the Sewa has to import 700MW electricity from Abu Dhabi. The three major plants in Sharjah can produce up to 1,800MW electricity daily.
Sharjah is also planning to set up another power plant worth Dh1 billion that will have the capacity to produce 500MW electricity per day.
A helping hand
Dr Al Leem said the Sewa does not disconnect the electricity connection of those who fail to pay bills in the holy month of Ramadan
. "The authority has partnered with a charity organisation to set up a fund called 'Rahma Fund' to settle Sewa bills of the needy."
The fund has helped settle Sewa bills worth Dh450,000.
The authority also offers a 25 per cent discount to consumers with special needs.
Smooth transactions Sewa consumers will not need to spend more than five minutes at the authority's counters to complete formalities and receive services, Dr Al Leem has said.
The authority has increased the number of service offices and employees. "Anyone who spends a long time in queues can approach the Sewa head office with a complaint," he said.
How Safe Is Your Tap Water?
The quality of water produced in Sharjah has improved with the opening of Al Hamriya water desalination plant, Dr Obaid Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (Sewa), has said.
The plant can produce 20 million gallons of water per day.
"Tap water in Sharjah is purified and valid for consumption and all other usages," said Dr Al Leem.
The Sewa, he said, is planning to set up more water desalination plants in the emirate.
Dr Obaid Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sewa