One can only marvel at the astounding incompetence of this entity
APRIL 14, 2013 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Once again the power supply in Berbice has descended to an absolutely horrific and atrocious level. This past week, there have been so many blackouts that I’ve lost count. On Monday, we had blackout for several hours.
What’s going on in Berbice with Guyana Power & Light’s(GPL) operations? One can only marvel at the astounding incompetence and inability of this entity to fix a system that has been broken for many, many year.
Likewise, one can only marvel at the callous, don’t-care attitude of the PPP, which, although being in power for over twenty years, has done nothing to remedy the unreliable power supply and bring relief to the people of this county. The PPP has, instead, chosen to demonize opposition members, dole out super-salaries, contracts, and radio stations to its friends and other “fat cats,” and fight for the rights of the rich, all at the expense of the majority of Guyanese who struggle to make a decent living, and who are frustrated at every turn by the regular blackouts that occur.
So here’s the solution. Call for a snap election and let’s vote the PPP out of office, and simultaneously get rid of the senior management at GPL that earns millions of dollars for doing nothing to tangibly improve the power supply. Nothing else will do.
And at the forefront of the wave to drive the PPP out of power will be the former sleeping Berbicians, who have finally awoken and realized that all the promises made by the PPP are false and unattainable under the current pack of jokers leading this country.
Berbice will rise, and the same slave songs that drove Cuffy to rebel against the oppressors of his day will guide us all as we go to the polls and choose a better future under the APNU/AFC government for our children and grandchildren.
Punishing Poor People Continuously
NOVEMBER 21, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER LETTERS
Since knowing ourselves, Guyana has always been a country in political turmoil, the struggle for independence, the struggle for free and fair elections and today the struggle for good governance and against a system that rewards corruption and penalizes those who want to play by the rules.
Throughout our history all these experiences have taught us that life for the poor and the working class remains almost unbearable. Even the small business and peasant class “catching fire” under this Jagdeo/Ramotar regime.
If one is to observe the comments coming out of Berbice on the issue of blackout under this PPP regime it is a clear that day to day life in Guyana remains painful and no amount of PPP propaganda can erase the burning in the belly of the people.
Sukhai, a farmer said in Stabroek News What the people Say Column, “This blackout is very terrible because when the current goes on and off… our appliances get burn and damage ….. and we do not receive any refund from GPL.” Sukhai further stated as a poultry farmer, “…. when the current goes off these chicken suffer.”
But stay with us and listen to Sukhai. Sukhai revealed a reality that the ordinary people in PPP Guyana face every day when he said “…while there is blackout during the day and the pipe is running it (the water) cuts off. We do not have water to use and this is really bad for the people in Berbice.”
Thank you Mr. Sukhai for speaking your truth and for exposed several cases of irrational underdevelopment because of poor governance and corruption under the PPP namely:
1. The PPP executes capital (fund) punishment on this farmer by damaging his appliances resulting in him spending what he does not have, on new appliances. This is the PPP formula to keep Sukhai in perpetual poverty. He did not damage his TV; GPL and by extension the PPP did but they refuse to refund him for his loss of wealth.
2. As his chicken dies as a result of poor electricity supply, his ability to multiply his wealth is put at risk by the PPP. Thus his return on his investment reduces with every chicken that dies as a result of blackouts. Under the PPP this farmer is not guaranteed a fixed rate of return for his investment and labour.
However this same PPP has guaranteed the rate of return for all the mega-investors in Guyana (the Marriot Hotel investors, the Berbice Bridge investors, the Amaila Fall project investors and even Buddy Shivraj when he invested in the Princess Hotel). No risk for the rich friends, family and business buddies of the ruling Jagdeo/Ramotar cabal. This is the PPP brand of working class party for you!
3. Water is life; at least that is what the United Nations tells us. However, under the PPP, potable water remains a luxury that is not easily accessible in the land of many water. Water is a critical element for every family and if you do not have reliable access to water, then you cannot run a poultry farmer properly; much less manage a family satisfactorily. The risk posed by denying this farmer water in times of Blackout has to be responded to by the majority in Parliament.
A motion must be passed demanding a full, independent and transparent investigation of the operations of GPL.
It is time the leadership from all political forces including the back benchers in the PPP, rise up and demand justice for the people of Berbice. Mr. Zulfikar Mustapha and his side-kick Mr. Jafarally, who like to flounce on Berbice TV to sing the praises of the PPP should wake up from their slumber and stop telling the people Alice in Wonderland stories. All is not well in Berbice.
They’re living in a world of their own and they’re trying to reduce the rest of us to the same condition of losing touch with reality. We call on the AFC to highlight the real suffering of the Berbicians to all of Guyana, especially in those areas that the PPP thinks they got tribal rights.
Let us bring the nation back to its centre of gravity where the people more actively resist non-violently the oppressors in the current regime, just like how they resisted the colonialist and the Burnham dictatorship.
Dr. Asquith Rose and Harish S. Singh
GPL rents US$900,000 substandard generator for US$720,000 annually
The Guyana Power and Light Inc. (GPL) last year paid a hefty US$8.6M to
GPL’s CEO, Bharat Dindyal, and other officials during a hearing with utilities regulator, Public Utilities Commission last week.
rent 12 Caterpillar generating sets for a period of one year. It could have spent just US$2.2M more to buy them all.
Last week, the company said that renting the generators was the only feasible option, as opposed to buying them.
The revelations were made when top GPL officials appeared before its regulator, the Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
It was during this public hearing, held at Tower Hotel, that GPL officials were pressed into disclosing the rental costs. GPL rents the sets from Machinery Corporation of Guyana Limited (MACORP).
Kaieteur News understands that on average, GPL was paying MACORP around US$60,000 monthly to rent the sets.
Each of the generating sets is actually rented for a base rental of US$43,000 every month, whether they are used or not. If they are used, that base rental only caters for 200 hours of work. Anything over the 200 hours automatically bumps up the rental to US$60,000, monthly. GPL sources confirmed that GPL worked the generators to the maximum; therefore what it has been paying is the full US$60,000 rental, per month.
This means that rental cost for the 12 generators amounted to some US$720,000 for each month last year.
In any given month, GPL loses a few days of work from the generators, to facilitate “top-up maintenance.”
Further, the generators are subjected to scheduled general maintenance every two months. With the “top up maintenance” and the “scheduled maintenance” time it means that every two months GPL does not benefit from the usage of each of the generators for about one week. However, it still has to pay the full rental cost.
The makers of the sets are retailing one for US$900,000 (G$180M), according to GPL officials. This means, it would cost only US$180,000 above the rental price.
GPL has said that it decided to rent against purchasing, because it did not have up-front capital at hand to go ahead and purchase the Caterpillar sets.
Four of the six Caterpillar generator sets at the John Fernandes Limited wharf in June, 2010.
GPL’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Bharat Dindyal, along with his Deputy Aeshwar Deonarine, in replying to questions, insisted that it is far more beneficial to rent the sets since the state-owned power company is not burdened by maintenance costs; maintenance fees are covered by the rental fee.
Further, Elwyn Marshall, Divisional Director (Operations) said that the generators which are rented are not fit for long-term operations, and are more ideal for a temporary solution.
This is despite the fact that in June last year GPL said that it had 22 of the same Caterpillar sets in the system.
Six Caterpillar sets brought in last June are still in the system at Versailles and Leonora, West Demerara, and at Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara, among other places.
Government is moving ahead with plans to build a 165-megawatt hydro-electric project at Amaila Falls, Region Eight, to meet growing demands.
GPL has said that electricity demands has been growing at least 10 per cent annually, outstripping investments and power production which until recently countrywide was over 80 megawatts.