September 28, 2016

Residents outraged over constant power outages, low voltage

Residents in several areas across the country are expressing outrage over the constant power outages, as well as long periods of low voltage. Over the last few days, areas along the East Bank of Demerara (EBD), East Coast of Demerara (ECD), West Bank of Demerara (WBD), West Coast of Demerara (WCD) and Georgetown, have experienced prolonged hours of power outages, much to the discomfort of residents. This inconvenient occurrence comes at a time when the Guyana Power and Light Incorporated (GPL)  has promised that the company would be providing a massive 20 per cent decrease in the net rates for supply of electricity across all tariff categories, which took effect on Friday, April 1.

Speaking with Guyana Times, Anand Tiwari who is a resident of Enterprise, ECD, explained that he is extremely dissatisfied with the current situation as he is deeply affected by the constant power outages. “The frequency of them is ridiculous. A definite grand decline in the already shoddy power GPL spews out. I’d have thought someone would’ve already sued them already for electrical damages. These outages cut into my work and entertainment time too much for me to not be angry,” he stated, adding that thus far, they have not been provided with a reason for these outages.

On the East Bank of Demerara, the situation is seemingly returning to normal as the power outages have ceased; however, residents are still dissatisfied as they are experiencing frequent instances of low voltage. One resident described the power supply “like fairy lights, every few seconds is on and off”, while another related that she has to keep her electrical appliances unplugged in fear of them being damaged.

Meanwhile, in Parfaite Harmonie and Canal Number One, WBD, residents are still being direly affected by the outages. Jennifer Singh, a resident of Parfaite Harmonie, related that when there is not an outage, the voltage is unstable. “Thursday was terrible. All day we had blackout, and then the power returned late in the afternoon only to cut off again in the night. It’s unbearable,” the woman stated. She explained that over the course of the week, the outages have been experienced daily and as a result, groceries and food items have spoilt. “I would understand if they were doing maintenance for a day or two, causing the blackouts but for an entire week? It is unacceptable,” the frustrated resident related.

In Canal Number One Polder, a shopkeeper revealed that she experienced great losses to her business as products that needed to remain refrigerated, such as meat and ice-cream were spoiled and had to be thrown out. She also related that they were not informed of these outages beforehand as to make preparations, nor were they informed of the reason for them.

One resident of Uitvlugt, on the West Coast, explained that the area is experiencing the outages as well, though not as frequent as other areas. Singh (only name given) stated that the outages do not occur frequently, but the instances of drops in the voltage received happen almost daily. “Is naa everyday thing fuh we get the blackout but the low voltage is almost every day,” the man explained. These residents are calling on GPL to address the situation urgently as it has inconvenienced them and caused them losses.

Efforts to contact the power company to seek answers in relation to the constant power outages proved futile, as calls to the hotline number provided went unanswered.

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