GPL in talks with Bath residents to resolve street lamps issue

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Some of the residents during the protest at Bath Settlement over the removal of street lights
Some of the residents during the protest at Bath Settlement over the removal of street lights

[www.inewsguyana.com] – The Guyana Power and Light (GPL) company is in continuous talks with residents of Bath, Region Five over the niggling street-light issue that surfaced a few weeks back.

GPL, after meeting with the Regional Executive Officer (REO) of Region Five and his engineer, and then interfacing with residents, made it clear that ‘issues were badly handled’ from the inception.

The power entity has clarified that it is responsible for the supply of electricity, and not the installation of ‘street lamps’ and automatic power supply for these, as they are personal matters and fittings, and are quite different from regular GPL street lamps.

However, GPL is quite cognisant of the need for additional lighting source, a result of the many burgeoning housing schemes. In this regard, GPL did grant a one-month concession to residents with illegal private street lights, asking that they ‘set their business in line’ by making sure that they were contracted to be supplied with electricity for their devices, which carry an additional charge of $1,266.00 for a 65 watt light, and $2,430.00 for the 120 watt.

It should be noted that the current position of GPL is that it stands ready to facilitate cooperating residents, as it is the company’s desire to continue to make available the ‘good life’ to all residents, a commitment of the current administration.

Currently GPL is pushing for residents, desirous of having the lamps, to have the matter expedited, as many had already done at the GPL office in Berbice.

Matters came to a full exposure when GPL removed the street lights in Bath after residents’ failure to pay a monthly charge. Minister of Public Infrastructure David Patterson, after protest action from the community, then explained that it is the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) that is responsible for paying the bill (for these lights) but in the case of Bath Settlement, payment was not forthcoming.

The Minister also detailed that GPL cannot afford to subsidise the cost, but if an arrangement is made with the NDC for payment, then the lights will be reinstalled. Minister Patterson also highlighted that the former People’s Progressive Party government did promise the residents, during the election period, that they were going receive free street lights, and thus the confusion. [Extracted and modified from GINA]

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