Power cuts sting Ajman tower residents


Power cuts sting Ajman tower residents

Ajman - The building is powered by diesel generators, which broke down during the Eid Al Fitr holidays.

by Dhanusha Gokulan

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Published: Mon 24 Jun 2019, 10:04 PM

Tenants of a residential complex in Ajman have had to live with a 'string of power cuts' that started during the Eid Al Fitr holidays. On June 4, they didn't have electricity for 10 hours straight from 10pm till the next morning, residents told Khaleej Times.
Their building is powered by diesel generators, which broke down during the holidays.
The complex, Paradise Lake Towers, is an eight-tower freehold project in Emirates City. It was developed by Sweet Homes Group and is managed by Best Option Real Estate Agency. 
After the 10-hour power cut, the electricity went on and off until "it was restored on June 6 at 1am", said Pratap Singh, a resident and flat-owner in the building complex.
"I had to wrap my young daughter in a wet bedsheet to provide her with some comfort from the heat during the holiday," he said. 
The electricity problem during the Eid period was just the beginning as the residents have had to deal with nearly 20 power cuts since then. 
"We've had sporadic power cuts. This week, there was an average of one power cut per day, lasting 30 minutes each," Singh said. 
Every time the electricity goes out and the lifts stop working, families have to take the stairs - lit only by the flashlights of their phones - with some carrying their kids as they head 14 floors down. 
An official from the developer, Fahad Sattar Dero, said a new generator was purchased from Ras Al Khaimah to replace the existing ones during the Eid holidays.
"To avoid similar incidents, we have installed a third generator as a spare, in the event that one of the generators stops functioning," said Dero, MD of Sweet Homes Holdings.
Tenants claimed that a generator-driven power supply has been costing them up to Dh800 per month, and resident U.R. (who requested anonymity) lamented that his electricity bill was "too high". 
"When I tried to express these problems to the owner of the apartment, he has been ignoring my calls. I am okay with suffering some losses; cancelling my contract ahead of the expiry; and looking for another place to stay," he said.
Dero explained that using generators that run on diesel was "not a profitable business", claiming that the company was losing between Dh50,000 and Dh100,000 every month because of diesel prices and some tenants who were not paying their dues.
"For my company, using generators is a headache and a heavy loss," said Dero. "As for the electricity bills, other organisations and developers are charging Dh1 while we are charging only 50 fils. "
Internet, sewage problems
Besides the power cuts, Internet access and sewage facilities have also become a problem for homeowners. 
M.P, another resident, said they couldn't apply for an Internet connection because of "cable issues". But the management said the problem is being addressed and it is expecting that Internet access would be available "very soon".
Tenants also reported a "foul odour" in their neighbourhood, claiming that it might have come from the sewage. But Dero explained that cleaning services and pest control are conducted regularly.
Noise pollution from nearby construction sites and poorly lit streets within the complex were two other issues raised by the residents.
With all the issues they were facing, homeowners said they were not "getting their money's worth" as they were reportedly paying nearly Dh5,200 every year for annual maintenance.
"It's very high. We were promised a gym and swimming pool in the building. There are no lights in the staircases either," Singh said.
(With inputs from Ahmed Shaaban)

Dhanusha Gokulan
Dhanusha Gokulan

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