Jun 04, 2013 News Comments Off on Non Pareil residents suffer loss of electricity
Several residents of Non Pareil, East Coast Demerara, are now without electricity following disconnection and removal of the electricity meters from their homes by the Guyana Power and Light (GPL).
According to reports, the GPL team visited the area on Sunday morning to carry out scheduled line maintenance checks and after examining the meters of some residents, they concluded that the meters were tampered with.
The team subsequently removed the meters from the houses and severed all connections to the utility poles. Following the removal of the meters, the residents were taken to the Vigilance Police Station where a number of them were arrested and were told to “pay bail of $10,000.”
The campaign continued yesterday where several other residents in the community had their meters taken away on charges that they have been tampering with the equipment and about 15 persons were taken to the police station. There are reports that in some streets, the meters of almost all of the houses had been seized.
When Kaieteur News visited the community yesterday, the wires that had been cut short from the utility poles could be seen dangling from the houses, while meter boxes were left bare.
Anil Ramsarup, whose meter was seized on Sunday, said that some workers from GPL came to his house requesting to look at his meter. Upon examining the meter, they found that the seal of the meter was broken and charged that the meter is being tampered with.
Ramsarup said he explained to them that while he was doing renovations to his home, a board fell on the meter and broke the glass and the clip around the meter. He said that he reported the matter and the glass was replaced by GPL workers but they reused the clip. However, this was to no avail since his meter was still taken off and the line was cut. He was then taken to the police station where he was placed on $10,000 bail.
Ramsarup’s wife, at the time of the interview yesterday, was at the GPL office on Main Street seeking to have the matter addressed. She reported later that the agents at GPL told her that they cannot do anything about the matter and she has to wait until after three working days to have the matter addressed.
The woman is anxious about the fate of her family and of other residents in the community. “They took away meters from internet cafés and shops. How will the school children get their work done? Things in the fridge will spoil and so on.”
Nadira Ramnarine, another disgruntled resident, whose meter was removed yesterday, is contemplating what steps the community should take to restore their electricity. “This is eyepass. Nobody nah tamper with the meter. Is GPL self does go in that meter”.
Ramnarine thinks that the community should “knock up something” that would
generate electricity to the community.
GPL’s Public Relations Officer, commenting on the removal of the meters, said that the power company is in the middle of a countrywide power watch and that a disconnection notice was published in the newspaper.
Regarding the removal of the meters of the residents, she said that the meters would not have been removed if the team were not certain that they were tampered with. She added that the meters will be fully investigated by the loss reduction department to establish confirmation.
With regard to the bail that the residents were required to pay, she said that they were lucky since with offences such as these, perpetrators can be charged with as much as $100,000 in addition to any outstanding balances.
She said that the likely outcome of the situation would be that the residents would have to pay their penalties and then apply for a new service. However, this is not definite since investigations into the matter are ongoing.
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