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Here's how JPS can plunder Gov't coffers

Published:Saturday | May 21, 2016 | 12:00 AM
A street light burning bright in the daylight.

Here's how JPS can plunder Gov't coffers


There were reports in the media on the April 13 meeting between the Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) and the Ministry of Local Government, which presumably concluded with new arrangements for the payment of the more than $3-billion electricity bill owed by the authorities to the JPS and for the improved management of the island's more than 105,000 street lights. This is a great achievement, even though full details of what was agreed are not yet in the public domain.

Notwithstanding that it may take time for these new arrangements to bear fruit, it is still disheartening to witness the waste, inefficiency and incompetence on display everyday with street-lights blazing during the daylight hours.

Until the new arrangements kick into high gear, I have some free money-making advice for JPS CEO Kelly Tomblin, and some cost-cutting suggestions for the minister.

To Ms Tomblin, I suspect that you have suggested to the minister how his Government could save money by reducing the increment of service costs from street-light usage. But until he responds, just make sure to not send out your service crews to attend to the following street lights. That way you can continue to all allow the authorities to rack up an even larger bills with your company. Over the past several weeks, including this past weekend, the following locations had street lights on continuously:

• Earls Court, Kingston 8 (Light post with reference 007935);

• Surbiton Road, Kingston 10;

• Hope Road near the property fence of the Bureau of Standards of Jamaica, Kingston 10;

• Braemar Avenue, Hillcrest Avenue, Barbican Drive, which are all in Kingston 6;

• Utility post on Old Hope Road on the block with Wendy's;

• Grants Pen Road at the intersection of Acadia Drive, Kingston 8;

• Barbican Square on the streetside opposite Pizza Hut;

• Old Church Road near the intersection with Upper Waterloo Road;

• Several utility posts between Stephens Run and Junction Square, St Elizabeth;

• Utility post with reference 531115 in Junction Square, St Elizabeth.

These are just a fraction of the thousands of street lights on the JPS grid, so if you ignore them until the authorities apply the pressure, the JPS can be assured of a free revenue stream.

Now to your attention, Minister. Do not wait on the JPS to send out repair crews to regularise these street lights, for it is easy money for them to get from the Government. So that you can steal a march on them, you can report to the JPS on these locations where the lights are blazing 24/7 and demand, in true 'Mayor McKenzie' style, that they commence the non-accrual of charges and that this damn nonsense of billing for street lights burning during the day comes to an end.

Also, tell JPS to report to you daily on the working status of all street lights, its schedule for fixing each striking one, and a rolling clear-up rate for each targeted street light. I am sure that you will have strong public support for these efforts.

So there you have it, Ms Tomblin and Mr McKenzie, some intelligence you can work with and build on for the benefit of us all.