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Hope Pastures watering hole, thanks to JPS

Published:Saturday | October 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Hope Pastures watering hole, thanks to JPS

The article in the Observer on Thursday, October 16, 2014 about the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) replacing the underground network in Hope Pastures has sparked more controversy about what was published and what is the truth.

It states that JPS has now entered into an agreement with the residents for an outlay of $35,000 to help each customer to connect to the new system, but the truth is that the JPS is demanding a payment of $35,000 per meter, plus interest, from all customers to help the JPS with the major investment of its $51-million project.

There are 240 residents who are affected by this issue, and the majority is not happy. A group of more than 100 has already got together to take alternative action.

The truth is that the few who signed and got on board admitted that the written agreement gave a time limit for payments, inspections and signatures, after which their electricity would be disconnected. This had created a fear factor for many residents, especially the retired and elderly, and they felt that had no option but to comply.

Since the beginning of the upgrade, at least one utility pole was erected, causing damage to the National Water Company (NWC) main supply, and despite reports to the JPS, no one came. Other roads had similar problems. We had mud in our piped water and water ran freely down the street for seven months during the entire drought period until it was finally fixed by the NWC.

During the second week in October, just two weeks ago, one of the new meter boxes on Hope Boulevard exploded and blazed, while the residents watched and asked what would have happened if our houses were connected to that. Do we now have to pay for the repairs of the new system that is already starting to break down?

Our present individual contracts with the JPS is for the utility to provide electricity to customers. while the customers' only obligation is to pay for the use of that electricity. We do not have contracts to assist in the setting up of or repairing the power supply.