Dubai: Nine months after they were forced out of their apartments due to the summer heat when their building’s chillers broke down, residents of an apartment building are reliving the memory as the air-conditioning has stopped working again for more than a week.
Residents CBD-6 (Golden Green View building) at International City have been without AC since Monday (March 14) after two of their building chillers broke down. Gulf News reported the same problem in June last year. The issue was fixed temporarily until the two chillers eventually stopped operating again just recently.
“My family is suffering. I have three kids aged 18 months, 5, and 6. It’s been very difficult for them. I bought a small electric fan but it’s still not enough. The temperature now is between 35C to 36C and we’re approaching summer,” Indian expatriate Paul Josh, a salesman, said. “Our rent is well-paid. I can’t believe this is happening,” Josh said.
For Modassar Ebrahim, who lives in a two-bedroom unit at CBD-6, he opens the windows to get some air but flies and insects come in.
“I couldn’t go to work on Thursday because I could not sleep the night before. I haven’t had proper sleep for the past four days. The rooms are not that big. It’s like a vacuum inside,” Ebrahim said.
Harsh Vardhan, an IT executive, said residents have been trying to cope with the situation. But they don’t know for how long they can put up with it. “Some people stay at Mirdif City Centre, some people stay in cars until they get too tired and fall asleep. I slept two nights in an open balcony, but there’s a lot of disturbance from the roads since my balcony is facing the road,” Vardhan said.
Vardhan said the main problem is 70 per cent of the residents in the building are tenants and only 30 per cent are owners. Major repairs are the responsibility of owners but nothing gets done.
Samer Ganni, managing director of SAGA International Owners Association Management, which manages the building, said the chiller parts ordered from the US are expected to reach Dubai this week.
“Repair work will take three to five days. This will bring the first chiller up, which should be enough for the building at this time. But we still have four to five weeks to rectify the second chiller,” Ganni told Gulf News.
Salvador Tellis, the association manager at SAGA, added: “The problem is actually a continuation from last year’s problem. Please keep in mind that the building is six years old, and we took handover from the previous management company in May 2015 where the chillers were about to break down.”
Tellis explained that since the building is a jointly-owned property of some 169 residential and 11 commercial units, they are obliged to present any issue to the Owners Association (OA) board and proceed as per their directions.
But the OA did not agree to buy new chillers nor replace the parts in the Extraordinary General Meeting in February. The Real Estate Regulatory Agency then stepped in and gave SAGA the green light to buy the needed parts and do the repairs.
Another meeting is being set to discuss the repair work for the second chiller before summer.