Sunday, June 20, 2010

The First time..

There is always a first time for certain experience.

Some of us here in Kuwait experienced the worst power outage since 1995. (the year I landed here in Kuwait and for others they may remember the period during the invasion)

That is a long time to gain certain confidence in a country but now I fear the worst. I do remember the time a few years back when we lost power in our building due to a fire but the Ministry of Electricity and Water was quick to place a generator until the power was restored in the building. Yes.. This was the Kuwait that I knew. But this confidence is all shattered and in a few minutes some of us were rendered homeless and as helpless as refugees in a war torn country with the temperature soaring above 50 degrees.

Preposterous one may say.. yea..

You are exaggerating! Oh yea…

But is this not Kuwait?

Even a person with a rudimentary knowledge of Kuwait knows the basics. It is an oil rich country, ranked 10th in the world for the production of oil and the 3rd among the Middle Eastern countries. Maybe it is nowhere near KSA but Kuwait is much smaller when compared to KSA and I am sure if things are managed as it should be, there ought to be no issues.

It all started last Thursday afternoon while I was still at work and we never ever had an inkling of things to come. (Back home, the authorities are prompt in telling us the time and they are the most efficient in maintaining the time of the power cuts!) Hubby took the children out and by the time we returned the power was back and we thought the problem was solved. But it was only the beginning. That night we stayed in the car each time (every 2 hours) the power went off and as soon as morning came, we packed off and went away to my brother’s flat. Some said a transformer had blown up, but even in India such cases are solved sooner. We may know the telephone number of the local lineman and the poor fellow would be quick enough to at least apprise us of the situations and it will be solved at least in a day. But today it is the 4th day and the situation is still the same. Some of our ever loving brethrens and countrymen advices that one should move out of the area. Oh yes.. where to? Shall we move in with you? Do you have buildings vacant for all those who hope to move out? And before we do move out can you tell us the reason why only certain areas are targeted for this inhumane approach? Yes.. more buildings have come up in this cursed locality and now we have 5 Indian Schools in this place alone (in addition to the Arabic and Pakistani Schools) but is it our fault? Yes.. a few Kuwaitee blocks have also been built right next to this area and the power consumption must have shot up. Yet those of us who have been paying the rent and the electricity bills promptly are now told to suffer so that the rest of you can enjoy!

It will not be fair if I don’t mention that the ministry offices have also been asked to shut down power from 1 PM. But then they wind up their jobs at 2 PM anyway so none will suffer. Not so in the residential areas where there are families with children and some have nowhere to go. My friend has taken up two families and that is all she can do. Our neighbor with 2 small kids has joined us and now we shuttle between 2 homes.

Now, we do have an Indian Embassy here in Kuwait and I am sure all the multitude of associations has already given their attendance. The news and names of many have also appeared in the local newspapers. But then is our Embassy here to solve these kinds of problems? Of course not! Where shall they find time for such minor nuisances when their time is devoured by functions and inaugurations and such other important tasks?

HARAM is all I can say to this injustice.


  1. am a little bit surprised. usually the system is built in such a way that you can feed power in such a case from the other direction,. i wonder what the real problem was. also read that they are cutting power to buildings where bachelor accomodations exist. it is becoming stranger & stranger.

  2. Unthinkable to be in the desert without air conditioning. The whole thing appear quite bizzare. What kind of system and authorities draw up these kind of plans? Kuwait doesn't seem a sensible place as I thought. :(

  3. This is surprising indeed. Preposterous is the right word. Hope the situation is back to normal now.

  4. Maddy: Seems the old transformer could not take the load and hence was shut down every 2 hours... and now we are pinning our hopes on the following:

    Indian Ambassador discussed Abbasiya power situation with Minister on Sunday night; New transformer to be installed on Tuesday
    Posted on 6/21/2010

    Following is the Ambassador's message to the Indian Community

    Dear Member of the Indian Community,

    As follow up to the message that I had addressed to him yesterday, I met last night with the Minister of Electricity and Water, H.E. Dr. Bader Al-Shuraiaan.

    He clarified that the transformer serving Abbassiya had been seriously overheating and if not regularly shut off to allow it to cool down then it would almost certainly breakdown entirely.

    In response to my request to urgently implement a permanent solution to address the problem being faced by Abbassiya residents, H.E. Dr. Al-Shuraiaan assured me that a new transformer to provide electricity to Abbassiya will be installed tomorrow (Tuesday, June 22) at Omariya Power Station.

    Ajai Malhotra
    Ambassador of India,
    21 June 2010


    Kuwait has not built a new power plant for two decades, despite rapidly growing demand for power.

    We read that even the citizens are facing power outage but maybe not to the extent that we are suffering..

    Scorpio:Yea.. they are not being sensible.... they need to control the power consumption and also acquire new means to procure power... mismanagement one could say...

    Vinod: our woes are still not over.. and the heat keeps rising and there is no way one can switch off the AC's to reduce power consumption...

  5. Goodness! That is so shocking! It makes no sense whatsoever!


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