Citizens calling on GPL to check for unsafe utility poles
In light of two recent incidents of utility poles falling and causing substantial damage to private property and a vehicle, citizens are calling on the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) Inc to examine utility poles that have been in place for a number of years to identify those that are rotting and have them replaced so as to prevent a repetition of those incidents.
On Monday, three utility poles collapsed, with one causing extensive damage to a Honda CRV that was parked outside the Bonny’s Supermarket on Church Street, Georgetown. Earlier last month, a similar incident occurred in Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara (EBD). On Monday, June 13, heavy winds uprooted five utility poles along the Diamond Housing Scheme access road, causing them to collapse on the surrounding houses.
A resident of Pike Street, Kitty, explained that the poles in her community have been there for over a decade, and some have started to lean. She related that it was her view that GPL should deploy its personnel to check on these poles, and replace those that seemed to be hazards to residents.
“Some of the posts in Kitty been there for over ten years. If you go around and check, you gon see quite a few of them leaning slightly,” she explained, adding “they [GPL] should send out people to check and see if these posts rotten or weak, so that they could replace them. It gon avoid having one of these things falling and damaging people property, or worse hurting somebody,” she stated.
Kevin Gowlall, a resident of Diamond, East Bank Demerara (EBD), also shared similar sentiments, positing that these poles should be erected using a safer method.
“They does just come and jook these posts down into the ground, forgetting that moisture does weaken these posts and rot them.
I think that they need to use another measure to secure these posts, possibly cement or maybe steel base,” he stated.
Hemwattie Lowchand, who also resides in Diamond, EBD, opined that the poles should be installed a safer distance from houses. She stated that the fact that some poles were erected extremely close to houses and other buildings showed that GPL personnel failed to take the safety of residents into consideration.
“We have some posts placed less than 10 feet away from houses. This is unsafe. Didn’t they take the hazards into consideration? They need to cater for the event that a freak storm or accident occurs, and leave enough space between these buildings and poles,” she stated.