End to blackout probably intended for 2010 – PNCR
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds must have been referring to November 5, 2010 when he announced three weeks ago in the National Assembly that frequent and prolonged blackout would have ended on November 5, 2009.
This opinion was expressed by People’s National Congress Reform Member of Parliament, Basil Williams, at the party’s weekly press conference yesterday. Williams said that despite the Prime Minister’s disclosure blackouts have continued unabated.
“Regrettably, the continued blackouts by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) throughout the Coast over the past week have led to the impression that the announcement by the Prime Minister referred to November 2010 instead of 2009. As usual, despite the earlier assurances by GPL, we have been provided with a variety of excuses, the last one being that the new generators are being tested.”
This newspaper in an article published in its Wednesday edition had highlighted that as consumers raise questions over continued intermittent blackout, GPL has assured that tests are still ongoing and that the situation should be alleviated by next week.
GPL officials, in response to the blackouts which continue to plague residents, especially on the East Bank of Demerara and parts of Georgetown, have requested that consumers just bear a few more days.
“We have to carry out some mandatory tests and monitoring. Our three new engines are working fine. But it is important that some more checks and monitoring be continued.
We expect that by next week, the outages which are only happening for short periods will ease considerably,” a public relations official had said. Consumers have been calling in complaining that the blackout situation, while it has decreased in duration, is still prevalent.
On Tuesday, the New Diamond Housing Scheme reported outages for the greater part of the day while Grove said that they had power outages twice.
A GPL official noted that there is continued line maintenance, which may leave some areas without power.
However, the actual generation from the three new engines, which adds an extra 20 megawatts to the system, is going smoothly.
However, the PNCR yesterday questioned whether GPL did not have the information it is currently presenting before it had made earlier statements.
“On the other hand, is it that GPL feels that it has no obligation to the people of Guyana who will eventually have to pay for the huge public expenditure being committed by this public utility? It is time for the Management of GPL and the Prime Minister to account to the people of Guyana for the gross mismanagement of the power sector after 17 years in office. The Nation needs to know when the daily blackouts will end,” Williams passionately asserted.
Three weeks ago, Prime Minister Hinds stated in the National Assembly that frequent and prolonged blackout would have ended on 5 November 2009. He was responding to a Motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition, Mr. Robert Corbin, to have the National Assembly adjourned to discuss the frequent and prolonged blackouts by the Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) under the item of urgent public business.
The next day, GPL stated that they were well ahead of their schedule and that the newly installed generators would be operational before that date. According to Williams, Guyanese had looked forward to the much-promised relief on 5 November 2009.