Latest update May 31st, 2023 3:04 PM
May 12, 2023 News
…82-year-old owner fearful illegal connection will cause fire
Kaieteur News –It is not unusual for the Guyana Power and Light Company (GPL) to disconnect the service of customers who fail to punctually pay their light bill. However, Gloria Edwards, 82, a resident of Crane, West Coast Demerara (WCD) found herself in the middle of a bizarre situation with the power company and one of its staffers that has left her confused and worried, with no relief in sight.
The woman is now accusing GPL of failing to hold one of its male employees accountable for placing an illegal connection to a property that she currently rents to someone at Crane.
“GPL disconnected the lights twice from the house and within hours this man, who has some sort of relationship with my tenant [name provided], turn up and connect back the light illegally. GPL ain’t reporting the matter to the police; not penalizing him or making sure he get charged, nothing. He is free to come back every time at my house and connect the illegal wires, and if my place burns, who I must blame? GPL right? I don’t know this man; all I know is that he drives around a bus (number provided).”
Edwards told Kaieteur News that the issue escalated almost one week ago after she visited GPL’s office at Vreed-en-Hoop, WCD to query a light bill. She explained that she had rented her property at Crane, WCD to a woman who has two sons, over a year ago. Edwards explained that her tenants had enjoyed peaceful occupancy of the property until recently when she served them notice to vacate the house in order for her to have it renovated.
The elderly woman related that after she served the tenant notice, she received a light bill for the said house stating that she owed GPL over $36,000.
“I get worried, because the tenants aren’t paying the light bill, and I would be left with a hefty bill to pay if they vacate the property. I didn’t want that to happen because I am a pensioner.
“I explained the situation to them at the GPL office at Vreed-en-Hoop. They said it was strange that the light was not disconnected. I tell them I am willing to pay the amount on the bill, but anything after that I can’t pay. I am a pensioner. So they agreed that they would come and disconnect the light,” Edwards said.
Edwards said that days later, a disconnection crew visited the premises and cut off power. She said that not long after the lights were cut, the tenant came to her home accompanied by a vehicle with police officers, including a female inspector from the Vreed-en-Hoop Police Station, and the tenant’s male friend who visits the premises that she rents, and who works at GPL on the disconnection crew.
“The Inspector [name provided] approached me and said that the tenant reported that the light was disconnected and I could get charged and put on the prisoner’s bench to sit down in the station for that. The man that works at GPL put in his mouth, hollering hard about how I should get locked up for cutting off the light. I get nervous; I suffer from high blood pressure and diabetes, and these people come with police telling me that I can get lock up if I don’t put on back the light, because I have tenants in the house.”
The woman said that she explained to the Inspector that GPL removed the light because the tenant was not paying the bill. According to Edwards, the officer was not very understanding with her, and demanded to see the bill.
“The inspector took the light bill from me and handed it to my tenant, and told her to pay it and bring it back and give me. The Inspector then turn back and ask them how they gonna get the light, because it was already afternoon, and Thursday and the next day [Friday] was Arrival Day and GPL wouldn’t open. The man said in the presence of the police that he will put it on back, because he working at GPL. He left and went to reconnect the light that GPL cut off.”
Edwards continued, “I am old so I don’t have the strength to follow them up, but I live with my two grandchildren, and they accompany me to the police station to report the matter of this man’s behaviour, and how he went and connect back the light that GPL cut off.”
The woman recounted that the police appeared reluctant to take the report after they realized that their colleagues were involved in the matter.
“The first officer even refused to take the statement, and told another rank to write it. I tell them the story. The rank took the statement from me I told her of the behavior of this man that I don’t know towards me, and how when he came to my residence what transpired. I wasn’t comfortable with how the police at the station dealt with the situation, but I kept quiet, because all I want is this GPL man to stop coming to my property and opening his mouth on me, after connecting illegal wires.”
She said that as a result, her granddaughter went to the GPL office at Vreed-en-Hoop and reported the illegal connection. Edwards said that subsequent to that report, a crew came from GPL and removed the meter from the house, but the issue did not end there. She said to her dismay, a few hours later, her tenant’s male friend turned up at the property and connected a wire from the electricity pole to the house and put on back the lights.
“My grandchildren have a video of the house having electricity and the bus the man drive park up in front the house, hours after GPL remove the meter,” the elderly woman said.
She said that at present the house has an illegal connection that can place the property at risk of fire. She noted also that the GPL worker has not been arrested or charged for the illegal connection. She claimed that the staff at the power company has not been swift in acting, even though she provided them with the bus number that he operates. She said too that she is not satisfied with how the police handled the matter.
“Although I tell them that this man put an illegal connection at my house. They said they can just warn him and wait until he do it again. My worry is in the meantime this man can do as he pleases, and my property is in danger of a fire, due to the illegal wires that a GPL worker put there,” the woman added.
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