Powerless in Sharjah all over again

This is now becoming some sort of annual ritual. Come summer and Sharjah switches off, plunging most residential and commercial areas of the now heavily populated emirate in total darkness. And this year, the summer seems to have come early for the poor residents of the emirate that is home to hundreds of thousands of people working in Dubai and other emirates.

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Published: Thu 27 May 2010, 9:39 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:46 PM

The first day of the latest power crisis has been a nightmare for the residents. The power supply was switched off around 10am and was out most of the day and night on Tuesday.

While the sprawling industrial areas of the emirate have been experiencing regular power disruptions for some time, this is the first big power cut that affected large parts of the emirate, from Al Khan, Al Majaz and Al Qassimia to Buhairah Corniche, Jamal Abdul Nasser and King Faisal Street etc. Hundreds of families were forced to take refuge in their cars or camp in open or head for other emirates to stay with friends and family. But majority of the residents didn’t have this luxury and had to grin and bear it. And this could be just the beginning. Things could get worse in the days and weeks to come.

What is even more disturbing is the confusion over the real causes of the power crisis. In the absence of an official warning or clarification, residents are having a field day exchanging rumours, half-baked theories and wild guesses about the real source of the problem.

A Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority official has blamed the crisis on the excessive use of electricity by the residents. He pointed out that with the onset of summer and excessive use of air conditioners and other appliances, power consumption had shot up possibly leading to a breakdown. The SEWA claims while the power station is in a position to meet the added demand for electricity, the distribution network is clearly unable to take the load. The SEWA engineers and officials are said to be working to fix the problem but there’s no guarantee it will not happen again. Clearly, the emirate needs to find a long term solution to the power crisis. Sharjah is one of the most beautiful cities in the Arab world and is a renowned centre of Islamic heritage and culture. It is also home to a mindboggling mix of communities and cultures that love the emirate’s traditional, serene and laid back lifestyle.

It’s a shame if all these positive features of the emirate are clouded by this ridiculous power crisis. The emirate has already undertaken a massive expansion project for its road network. It should now pay attention to other basic problems like electricity, water and other related issues. Sharjah now badly needs some power to put its best foot forward.

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