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General News of Thursday, 13 June 2019

Source: Michael Oberteye

MP urges Krobos to pay ‘current PDS bills’

Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi1Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi, Member of Parliament for Lower Manya Krobo

Residents of Lower Manya Krobo have been asked to pay their current bills to power suppliers, Power Distribution Services, PDS as discussions persist to find an amicable resolution to the current impasse between the two sides.

Member of Parliament for the area, Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi said despite the recent clashes between the two parties, residents owed it a duty to pay recent bills provided by the company while the outstanding bills which have been the subject of controversy since May 2017 is amicably resolved.

The MP said though discussions were underway towards a peaceful resolution of controversial debts, consumers owed it a responsibility to pay the current bills to the power suppliers.
“At this juncture, we know most of us owe the PDS bills which are controversial. Discussions are ongoing regarding those controversial bills,” he said. “As for the current bills, we urge you to pay them as we discuss the old bills”.

I have intervened and there is peace, said the MP to residents who had gathered to witness him cut sod for a multipurpose CHPS compound at Asitey.

The PDS which earlier in May embarked on what it called “revenue mobilization exercise” with armed police personnel insisted that the exercise was necessary to retrieve its locked up revenue owed by recalcitrant consumers, an action the MP described as “Rambo style” and unacceptable.

He was emphatic that his constituents had the right to seek redress regarding the controversial bills especially as they had religiously paid their bills over the decades.

Though he faulted the power suppliers, the then Electricity Company of Ghana, now PDS for a “system failure” which is partly responsible for circumstances leading to the disturbances, he nevertheless urged consumers not to inhibit but provide a conducive atmosphere for staff of the PDS to distribute bills to the various homes and commercial places.

The lawmaker however called on the PDS not to storm into homes to read and distribute bills with armed police because defaulters are not thieves.

If you owe bills, you are not a thief, he said.

The residents had insisted that the bills were outrageous and demanded the power company investigates the cause of the sudden rise.

The development has led to several clashes between the residents on one hand and the police and PDS on the other hand with the latest being May 22 where seven persons were shot resulting in one death.

The MP in registering his displeasure over the recent shootings avers that though the PDS had admitted that things shouldn’t have degenerated to this level, discussions were still underway on the circumstances that led to the shootings.

“They [PDS] have now admitted that the battle they fought with us was completely unnecessary,” said the lawmaker. “Some people were shot and discussions are underway on this”.
The PDS had complained that sending its staff to read the bills under the circumstances was a dangerous venture as that was tantamount to endangering their lives.

Countless protests over the impasse have seen several people hospitalised after they sustained varied injuries with the police arresting some others for their roles in the disturbances.