Essequibians walk out of meeting with GPL

first_imgProlonged power outagesIrate residents of the Essequibo Coast, Region Two (Pomeroon-Supenaam) on Wednesday walked out of a meeting with officials from the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) which was held at the Regional board room, Anna Regina.Reports are residents accused the personnel from the company of stonewalling them but not facilitating proper answers to their questions.The Essequibo Coast has been plagued with prolonged power outages for almost one month now.The power company on August 18, 2018, had admitted that the region has been experiencing frequent service interruptions as a result of two of its units – the Number 3 and Number 8 with an aggregate capacity of 2.8 MWs –becomingResidents and regional officials walking out of the meetinginoperable, due to major mechanical and electrical issues respectively.Over two weeks now, GPL along with Public Infrastructure Minister David Patterson, had assured residents that the situation will be rectified soon. However, after this was not forthcoming weeks after assurances, residents were forced to protest in front of the GPL’s Anna Regina sub-station as they express their frustration over the situation.Representatives from the regional administration joined in protest action on Friday to demand answers from GPL. According to residents, GPL has left them in the dark and has been reluctant to give answers about the power woes in the region.The protest led to a team of GPL officials from the city visiting the region on Wednesday for the meeting. At that meeting, GPL’s Public Relations Officer Shevion Searswas was present but was unable to answer the questions which several residents, regional officials and members of the business community posted.The meeting was attended by the acting Chairman of Region Two, Nandranie Coonjah; Councillors of the Regional Democratic Council, as well as the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils; members of the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ECCI); and residents.However, after not getting sufficient answers, the group walked out of the meeting.Residents holding up placards during the meeting“This meeting was a waste of time,” one regional official remarked after leaving.According to officials, the PRO could not give answers and as such they are demanding to meet with senior management of GPL. “The senior management needs to be here. Where is Prime Minister Moses Nagamootoo? He needs to be here,” a resident demanded.Another protest is planned for Friday if no senior Government or senior GPL official mets with regional officials and residents.Last week, the Essequibo Chamber of Commerce called on the Government to immediately intervene and bring some relief to the residents of the region.According to Chamber President, Suean Seewnarayan, the region is suffering tremendously due to the failing power company.She added that the region’s commerce is collapsing due to the poor service offered by GPL.On Tuesday, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of GPL, Albert Gordon told this publication that every effort is being made by his technical team to address the situation, which he described as unfortunate.However, the GPL head said a permanent solution to the issue may take until December, as the company is now in the process of acquiring new units to replace those that are currently not in operation due to several reasons.“We (are) actually in the process of getting new plants to replace these, which are medium-scale diesel that are more suited for (this) operation. But that is not expected until mid-December,” Gordon told this newspaper, while explaining that the GPL has been working around the clock to address the situation.The GPL CEO said the team is also working to repair the other units, and hopefully by today there could be some significant improvements.last_img read more