Despite assurances, members of Yarrowkabra Housing Group have to produce land leases before electricity connected

Dear Editor,

The purpose of this letter is to thank the Honourable Prime Minis-ter and the Honourable Minister of Infrastructure, Mr. David Patterson for their intervention regarding the supply of electricity in Yarrowkabra Housing Scheme and to highlight the challenges we are facing to get electricity to our homes.

When electricity was being installed in the area, I was called in by a very pleasant female manager who told me that she was making arrangements with Guyana Power & Light (GPL) – Main Street Office, for us (the group members) to go into GPL with whatever documents we may have from Lands and Surveys to apply for electricity. I specifically asked if we would be able to get electricity connected to our homes using the receipt that shows the house lot number paid for, and she confirmed that we would be successful using this document.

The reassurance I received from the GPL female manger was subsequently reinforced at a meeting GPL held for the residents of Yarrowkabra. The meeting informed residents that upon completion of electricity installation, we could go into GPL with the necessary documents and apply for connections to our homes. Notwithstanding all the assurances we received, after the electricity installation was completed, members of the group went into GPL with documents showing proof of address and payment for their lots and were told that they cannot get electricity unless they produce the lease to prove that the land is theirs.

Now, obtaining a lease from Lands & Surveys is not like years ago when one could have gotten a lease within a short time; now, an applicant must wait for a long period of time before receiving their lease. I suppose the new Commissioner is looking into issuing leases in a careful and transparent manner.

Unfortunately, however, within the period of waiting to obtain our lease, members of the group will have to remain without electricity, in the same position as we were before electricity was installed in the area. However, persons in other areas outside of the housing group are getting electricity. How would those with documents feel to see their surrounding neighbours, who themselves have no documents, with electricity? Now what should those with documents do to get electricity? GPL is losing money that they need. One gentleman with whom I am acquainted went into GPL with his proof of address to apply for electricity. The young lady with whom he spoke, accepted his documents, went to another employee (which I presume was her supervisor) who took the documents from her and then went to another official. She then returned and told the individual that he could not get electricity unless he produced the lease. What is going on? In the end, GPL is losing and the customers without documents are gaining. Now once again the question is what can be done for persons who already have land, house and proof of address.

Yours faithfully,

Arthur

Taylor President

Yarrowkabra Housing Group

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