Are honest electricity consumers to pay for line losses, theft and incompetence?

Dear Editor,

This is my third appeal to President Donald Ramotar to stop Guyana Power and Light (GPL) from harassing, molesting, penalizing and unfairly extracting money from consumers. This situation should be addressed now.

GPL has admitted to over thirty thousand illegal connections; severe line loss and the tens of thousands of consumers paying five dollars per kilowatt as against others paying about ten times that amount.

We are also aware that those consumers paying the required amount, allegedly being one of the highest rates in the world, are made to pay for others’ shortcomings in general. It is disgusting, outrageous and unfair that these hard-pressed consumers are the ones targeted for the slightest lateness in payments, alleged tampering of meters – most disputed by victims who claim to be wrongfully adjudged – etcetera.

Those cut off for late payment are made to pay hefty re-connection fees. Those accused of meter tampering are charged, placed before the courts, backdated for two years and have to pay a reconnection fee. Those backdated are compelled to pay thousands on the basis of whatever flawed and unjust method used, added to the reconnection fee to have supply restored. There is no authenticity in the fee.

Editor, all along my complaints and appeals were based on sympathy for many suffering victims. It so happens that now three members of my family have been entrapped in this scam. One is tagged at $100+ thousand and two others at $400+thousand. Are the honest consumers to pay for the line losses, rampant extensive open theft and incompetence?

This gross injustice is good enough to sway voters and the President should take note. This issue will certainly be paramount in voters’ considerations.

The questions are why some are allowed to steal openly and others are penalized even if they allegedly short change; and why some are paying 1/10 of what the majority are paying. This situation is untenable and people anywhere would not knowingly tolerate this grave injustice and bullyism.

What about the thousands of meters placed on business premises especially years ago that were not calibrated to suit our local system because it was the consumers losing? These were recently replaced but there was no compensation for the victims. Yes, I was one victim. My understanding is that someone did a personal private calibration and exposed the issue, hence the change.

This is how the President can show he cares.

Yours faithfully,

M Sookraj  

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