Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 24 October 2019

Ajman residents plagued by power cuts issue plea for help

Tenants and apartment owners are desperate for help after being hard hit by a multitude of problems

Resident Karin Buettner has fought a year-long battle to improve inadequate facilities at MR Tower in Ajman. Reem Mohammed/The National  
Resident Karin Buettner has fought a year-long battle to improve inadequate facilities at MR Tower in Ajman. Reem Mohammed/The National  

Long-suffering residents at an Ajman tower block are desperate for an end to months of torment after being hit by sky-high service charges, a string of power cuts, noise pollution and even lifts leaking sewage water.

Tenants and apartment owners alike in MR Tower, in Emirates City, have hit out at the poorly-maintained facilities they believe are a safety risk.

They say they have been forced to endure regular power outages, plunging the building into darkness for hours at a time.

Karina Buettner, who moved to the apartment complex a year ago, said the lack of reliable facilities is an ongoing issue for the 500 tenants at the building.

“The main concern here is affordable and reliable electricity. The building is still being operated by diesel generators despite the fact that the Federal Electricity and Water Authority (Fewa) has a dedicated power station in Emirates City with sufficient capacity,” said Ms Buettner.

The German citizen tenants face costly utility bills during the summer months and doesn't feel they are getting value for their money.

One tenant provided The National with a utility bill of more than Dh1,800 covering the month of August.

“In July we had a couple of days with power cuts of up to 5 hours at a time, which in the summer heat is of course most disturbing," said Ms Buettner.

"The elevators were not working so people were walking up and down staircases in complete darkness, which can hardly be called safe by any means.”

Residents are eager for diesel generators to be replaced due to numerous power failures and high utility bills. Reem Mohammed/The National
Residents are eager for diesel generators to be replaced due to numerous power failures and high utility bills. Reem Mohammed/The National

“The electricity provided is anything but stable and reliable as we are faced with numerous daily power cuts which we are told are due to overload.

"There was one time that ambulance staff, called due to an emergency, had to climb up the stairs in order to reach the patient.”

She said residents complained about the poor quality services to Ajman's Land Department, with the authority pledging that two new generators with a higher capacity would be installed.


“We can only hope it will really happen,” said Ms Buettner.

Anatolie Cosneanu, 29, bought his studio apartment three years ago and said he has had to deal with a litany of problems.

“There is no proper maintenance. Most of the time one of only two lifts is operating, and when its working it is leaking sewage water,” he said.

He said illegal construction works above his apartment are still in place despite his complaints to authorities, while service charges are paid for a gym that is still to be built.

Ms Buettner said she had been in discussions with various authorities in recent months in an effort to solve the issues plaguing the lives of residents, but is still waiting for answers.

Speaking on behalf of Elite Real Estate, who manage the building, customer service executive Umair Zahid said the company is trying to tackle the complaints of residents.

“We took the tower from the developer in this condition and when we were responsible for maintenance we tried to fix as much as we could, but now the maintenance has been awarded by the land department to another company,” he said.

Water leaks from the ceiling of the reception of MR Tower. Residents are eager for maintenance of the building to be improved. Reem Mohammed/The National
Water leaks from the ceiling of the reception of MR Tower. Residents are eager for maintenance of the building to be improved. Reem Mohammed/The National

He said generators at the building had failed due to overheating.

In August, residents in nearby Paradise Lake Towers B6 and B9, part of an eight-tower freehold project in Emirates City, said years of mould, leaky pipes and power cuts have forced them to leave behind their flats and seek accommodation elsewhere.

One B9 resident said he moved of the flat he bought more than two years ago after his young children developed rashes due to excessive mould.

Updated: September 19, 2019 03:37 PM

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