GPL cuts off power to City Hall over pay
Mayor dismayed
Stabroek News
August 5, 2002

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The Guyana Power and Light on Saturday cut the electricity supply to City Hall over outstanding payments and the Town Clerk responded by telling the company to move lamp posts from the council’s property where no permission has been given.

Mayor Hamilton Green on Saturday described GPL’s action as arbitrary and said the city has been put at risk. As a counter move, the Town Clerk has written to the top brass of GPL, calling for the removal of all the lamp posts planted on the parapets and reserves, for which no permission has been given.

“Since they want their pound of flesh, we will also extract our pound of flesh,” the `Chief Citizen’ told Stabroek News.

According to Green, City Hall and GPL have been in discussions, seeking to find some common ground on how much they owe each other.

“We have acknowledged owing them sums of money and they sent us a letter recently proposing a method of exchange of cheques... so as to move the issue forward. [But] this has not taken place.”

The mayor said City Hall had also proposed to either sell or lease, to GPL, a portion of Lot `B’ Barrack Street, Kingston, on which the company already has some of its installations.

But GPL subsequently informed the mayor that that plot of land could not be used in the negotiations, since it was legally vested to the power company back in 1999. Green, unaware of this, said he raised the issue with the head of the Privatisation Unit and sought legal advice.

“In the meantime, Mr (Phillip) Jacques, an Irishman, in response to my Town Clerk’s proposal to meet next Wednesday and have dialogue, [disconnected the power supply] without further notice.

They not only cut City Hall this morning [Saturday], but the power supply to the main (drainage) pump at Liliendaal and the Promenade Gardens,” the mayor said.

He has already written to the hierarchy of GPL expressing “shock, surprise and dismay” over the situation.

“The Town Clerk has also reminded the GPL that they have planted a number of poles on our parapets and reserves for which they got neither permission, nor do they pay and that technically, it constitutes an encumbrance...They have put the city at risk by cutting off the pump without notice,” Green stated.