LONG SUFFERING residents of a block of flats in Paralimni who were left without electricity for 13 days in October are furious after developers built an illegal high voltage substation on their property – to supply another building.
The bizarre twist comes as the complex still remains without a legal supply, five years after developers promised to fix the problem.
Since 2005, a single electric cable, illegally plugged to a nearby house has supplied 24 apartments, resulting in the occupants suffering a constant stream of cuts and blackouts.
In early October developers told the Cyprus Mail that a legal supply would be switched on within 10 days, but since then the situation has gone from bad to worse, with an illegal and potentially dangerous substation being constructed on their doorstep – for the exclusive use of an adjacent complex. (see Paralimni residents left in the dark)
The substation, which has been built in a garage below one of the apartments, extends on to the patios of two other properties and has left residents bewildered and angry.
Residents claim they were not warned about the substation and have voiced fears that it poses a possible risk to their health. They also point to official guidance that states that such units should be sited at a maximum distance from dwellings, schools and businesses.
Substations generate strong electromagnetic fields and according to the Electric Authority’s own published guidelines, the station is illegal: “Such substations are located on the borders of building plots (preferably in areas surrounded by greenery so as to maximize the distance from residential developments), in commercial and industrial developments, in apartment bocks and/or other developments requiring a significant electrical load”.
The EAC has confirmed it is conducting an investigation into the matter, and Ian Hudghton MEP has requested that developers halt any further work to enable an urgent site inspection.
Despite MEP Hudghton’s pleas, the electric station has been activated and is now transmitting 24-hours a day. Pantelakis Kyriakides, a spokesman for the developers would not be drawn on the matter, only commenting that: “We are working on it.”
One apartment owner, who wished not to be named, said the situation was astonishing with the residents left to suffer the consequences.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous. They (the developers) built an illegal electric substation in a residential building that has no electric of its own,” he said.