GPL shows no respect for consumers in the Upper Corentyne

Dear Editor,

I am amazed at the disrespect, and uncaring attitude of GPL towards the residents of Berbice, especially the Upper Corentyne.

After a horrific 2012, with approximately 247 blackouts as reported by Kaieteur News, residents were given a very brief respite from this living hell during the few weeks around Christmas and New Year. Sadly, it seems that we are now back to the ‘norm’ of constant blackouts, without any explanation, and with no end in sight.

We have already had several blackouts this week in Upper Corentyne where I live (yesterday for several hours), and GPL, as far as I am aware, has offered absolutely no explanation about what is going on. These blackouts usually occur during the day, during working hours, and disrupt all businesses, schools, and private residents in Upper Corentyne. They prevent businesses from functioning properly, and hinder our students, especially those taking IT classes, from receiving proper training. Should this situation continue, this area will become depressed, businesses will close, and our students will be left behind as the rest of the world moves ahead and enjoys the latest technological innovations.

What is especially disturbing about this situation is that GPL has shown no inclination to take the necessary steps to improve the electricity supply in Berbice. Apparently it does not care about the suffering it is imposing on all residents, including businessmen, single parents, and young children.

This is best illustrated by comparing GPL’s response to blackouts in Berbice with those in Demerara. Whenever Demerara has a blackout, GPL’s senior management immediately issues prompt apologies and prominent press releases in the daily newspapers.  Berbicians, on the other hand, are left in the dark, literally and figuratively. There are no apologies, no press releases, and when we attempt to contact GPL’s hotline, the number is always busy or it rings out.

This is the height of disrespect, and begs the question of whether Upper Corentyne residents are somehow less important than those in Demerara. Shouldn’t we too be offered apologies for the nightmare that we suffer under GPL? We too are GPL’s customers, we pay our bills, and subsidize GPL with our taxes. GPL’s non-response to the blackout situation in Berbice smacks of the most blatant form of discrimination, and reveals the utter neglect of our area by this entity.

Berbicians are sick and tired of GPL and its nonsense, as this entity’s incompetence is undermining most developmental work launched by this government. Lights are currently being installed by the government along the entire Corentyne Highway, but what use will these be if GPL continues to give us blackouts and sabotages this otherwise much needed development? The government’s OLPF plan is being hindered from fully accomplishing its purpose when our laptops are unable to be charged, and our internet modems stop working during blackouts. The list goes on and on. Isn’t GPL a company that cares about the development of this country? Or is it only interested in maintaining the status quo, and in frustrating technological and business development?

I am asking that GPL’s Berbice Manager, Mr Ayube Bacchus, explain to us what is going on in  Upper Corentyne. Please don’t tell us about problems at GuySuCo because we don’t purchase electricity from GuySuCo;  we are GPL’s customers.

We don’t want any promises because GPL is good at making promises and never delivering. Give us an improved electricity supply!

Yours faithfully,
(Name and address provided)

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