Dec 07, 2008 News
The Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) has clamped down on two businessmen who are reportedly stealing water from the company and not paying their water bills.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GWI, Karan Singh, at a press conference Friday, said that a popular businessman at Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara was reportedly caught stealing water from the main.
The CEO has since publicly instructed that the businessman’s water service be disconnected, and the water company is in the process of filing a civil action against him.
“He shall not receive a service from GWI until he is prepared to repent and compensate GWI for the water he has stolen for his block making business…We are not in the business of providing water for making concrete blocks, and we are not in the business of providing water for the reselling of water,” Singh said.
He also revealed that there is another businessman at the Eccles Industrial Site on the East Bank of Demerara who owes GWI some $6 million.
According to Singh, the businessman operates a concrete block factory, and for the past five years he has not paid the water company any rates. The CEO added that when GWI visited the area, the man told them that he buys water to do his work.
However, after several searches of his premises, GWI finally found the illegal water connection. In order to get its money, GWI plans to take the man to court.
“The courts will have to give us justice…and there are many more like him…There is another one on the West Demerara…I don’t want to call his name as yet. Lots and lots of people are bent on stealing water. Why? It’s not that they can’t afford it,” Singh said.
He explained that the people who are involved in the business of making concrete blocks need to find alternative sources of water, and not to use the purified water provided by GWI to soak and cure the blocks.
“People are stealing water, people are wasting water, people are using the water for agricultural purposes, people are allowing water to go in their fish ponds and their duck ponds, and we have to deal with the other customers who are not getting a service,” the CEO said.
He explained that unmetered customers receive their charges on an annual basis, or twice a year, and that they also have the option to pay for the entire year’s charges at one time, but customers have to show and demonstrate by payment that they are willing customers.
“If the trend shows that you are not paying and you have 2 to 3 years’ arrears, you are eligible for immediate disconnection. We have a procedure where we send notices out to delinquent customers reminding them of their obligation to pay…
“If not face the consequences; it is as simple as that. You can’t live without water. You want to pay for your cell phone, you want to pay for everything, and you don’t want to pay for water. We are not going to tolerate that. Water is life, you use it everyday, and if you can’t pay for it, then we are going to deal with you accordingly. That’s the bottom line,” Singh pointed out. Meanwhile, he added that metered customers are placed in categories, as there are those who are large commercial customers and are billed monthly, while the medium and small customers are billed quarterly.
He noted that GWI might not be able to read the meters of all customers, but they are billed based on the trend that they have been paying on.
“Your trend is established by the amount of water you use every month. So if we miss a bill, all we have to do is estimate for that period what your consumption is likely to be.”
Singh noted that the water supply has to be treated as serious business in the country.
Everything that comes out of Jagdeo’s mouth is aimed at confusing this nation.
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