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General News of Saturday, 22 June 2019

Source: Michael Oberteye

PURC engages residents of Lower Manya on PDS bills

Some communities visited include Osekuse, Kpongunor, Asitey and Agomanya Some communities visited include Osekuse, Kpongunor, Asitey and Agomanya

Officials of the Public Utility Regulatory Commission, PURC have engaged electricity consumers in various communities in Lower Manya Krobo, as part of a roadmap towards ending years of acrimony between the community and power suppliers.

The engagement, according to the Greater Accra Regional manager of the PURC will offer the commission the opportunity to engage consumers on an individual basis, receive their complaints and forward them to the PDS for the necessary resolution.

“As part of the roadmap we are supposed to come to the community to educate the people about the billing issues because they need some form of education to understand the billing”, said Gifty Bruce Nelson who added that the team visited some concerned communities where they took their complaints as it works to address them.

Gifty Bruce Nelson said the engagement which followed a complaint filed by the MP for Lower Manya, Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi engaged community members who have challenges with their bills to fully appreciate the issues and suggest resolutions for those with challenges and payment modalities rolled out for customers with without any problems.

“The MP lodged a complaint and we also heard and saw from the media the problems that were going on”, she said. “Since we came, we have seen that people have different issues apart from the billing issue. We will speak with PDS and forward their complaints to them for resolution”.

Some communities visited include Osekuse, Kpongunor, Asitey and Agomanya.

With most of the billing issues bordering on overbilling, wrong billing methods and accumulated bills, the PURC team hopes the PDS will be prevailed upon to adjust wrong bills if need be or give defaulters with “correct bills” ample time to pay their bills through an agreeable payment method.

Honourable Member of Parliament who reported the issue to the PURC as part of his contribution towards resolving the impasse urged the people to corporate with the team in an exercise aimed at addressing a nagging service provider/consumer stalemate.

Ebenezer Okletey Terlabi who stopped over to observe the exercise also consisting of the company’s Greater Accra Regional Public Relations Officer and Senior Complaints Officer, Mr. Robert Aziz and Edward Boduah respectively, said consumers owed it a duty to embrace the exercise.

The exercise it is hoped will end hostilities between the two sides.

The regulatory body by its executive secretary empowered the Greater Accra Regional branch under which the affected communities fall, to hold a meeting with all concerned sides in the matter.

Subsequently, a meeting was held between the Tema Regional Management of the PDS, the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC), Member of Parliament for the Lower Manya Krobo and some Assembly members.

This was to fashion out a roadmap to bring peace and the residents settling the debts owed PDS was outlined.

As madam Bruce explained, consumers need education on the billing system and the exercise will help the cause.

“Part of the roadmap is to come to the communities and educate the people on billing. They need some form of education to understand the bill,” she averred.

The PURC concluded the first part of its engagement with the Lower Manya residents and further met with officials of the PDS on Friday to draw their attention to the Commission's observations gathered from the field.