When the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Power and Light Inc (GPL) took over, I sent a reaffirming letter complimenting and recognising his efforts. Now, with GPL here in Guyana, there is much cause for concern. Things seems to be going from bad to worse in their hemisphere of the provision of quality and effective power supply to the citizens of Guyana.
The constant “blackouts” are a terror to the minds of the Guyanese people. For two successive days there were power outages on the East Coast of Demerara. This went on for more than 12 hours. As a result, Guyanese are unable to programme their lives. On one occasion, I can recall on the East Coast of Demerara where I live, there were power shortages 10 times in one day and on another occasion, 20 times in one day. I am thankful that I have a generator to tide me over during these ‘unkind power interruptions” by GPL. But what about the poor persons without the backup services of a generator and what they are going through during this ordeal of being without electricity? Imagine what happens to small businesses and industries in terms of operations and production and how persistent power shortages negatively affect their contributions to the economy of the country?
The disruptions of power supply caused the post in front of my house to “spark”. When I telephoned GPL to report this incident, a “fancy recorded voice came on the phone saying “press this and press that”. I was told by this same “fancy recorded voice” that I was number 19 at first, then I became number three in the queue waiting to register my complaint, and after waiting on hold on the line for a long time, as instructed to by the same “fancy voice”, I automatically went to number five on the line instead. And I was not given a chance to air my complaint and to seek redress, imagine my utmost frustration which is nothing compared to the frustrations that the more poor and in need Guyanese are experiencing at the hands of GPL.
The point that I am trying to get at is these large consumer service providing companies do not realise that the inability of persons to reach them reflects badly on them and indirectly on the governing powers of the land, especially so in an elections atmosphere.
I am writing this letter out of deep respect, and a love for democracy and country. I believe in protocol and it pains me to write a letter like this about the inefficiency of our foremost electrical supplier. The point to note is that many poor people without representation and the ability to complain have their electrical appliances damaged and they do not know how to represent themselves.
We hope and pray that the suffering of the Guyanese people will come to an end and the troubles that GPL is going through will come to an end.
Roshan Khan Snr