Minister of Public Infrastructure, David Patterson, has said that there is no quick fix to ending blackouts, but he insists that the Government has taken progressive measures toward that goal.
Blackouts have been a frustrating issue for the Guyanese public, for several decades. They have plagued households under successive Governments on both sides of the political divide.
The APNU/AFC Coalition campaigned strongly in 2015 with the claim that it would bring an end to blackouts. But nearly five years later, households still experience lengthy blackouts, even in the city.
During a press conference yesterday at the Centre for Change, Patterson, who is the Alliance For Change (AFC)’s General Secretary, was questioned about his Ministry’s efforts to tackle this problem.
He insists that the APNU/AFC Government inherited an old, decrepit infrastructural power framework.
“It needs replacing.” And he maintains that the Government is doing just that.
“For example, along the embankment, there are five high tension lines running when you’re only supposed to have one. And therefore, if something happens to one pole, it takes the entire system down,” Patterson explained.
Government has, according to him, already begun to put redundancy in place to increase reliability.
He said that there are also bids for new substation lines by Sophia out at the level of the National Procurement and Tender Administration Board (NPTAB), and that Government has already installed two new submarine cables.
Nevertheless, blackouts still plague the country, and this Government’s term is almost up. Reminded that Government has yet failed to deliver on its promise to end blackouts, Minister Patterson was asked why the voter population should trust him a second time around with that responsibility.
“Because we are working on it,” he responded.
“We’re addressing it progressively… I know it is a frustrating thing but, from the status in which we found it and what it is now, it has improved.”
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