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Sinclair upset over JPS disconnections in Flanker

Published:Wednesday | July 24, 2019 | 12:27 AMAdrian Frater/News Editor


Western Bureau:

Senator Charles Sinclair, the councillor for the Flanker division in the St James Municipal Corporation (StJMC), is taking issue with the Jamaica Public Service Company’s (JPS) ongoing disconnection of electricity supply to homes and businesses in Flanker and the surrounding communities.

In a statement to the media last weekend, Sinclair described the JPS’s action, which was carried out under the watchful eyes of personnel from the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), as unwarranted.

“Over the past two to three days the JPS has entered the communities with the JCF carrying out enforcement action, including disconnection of residents’ electrical supplies without notifying them,” said Sinclair, in reference to the disconnections in Flanker and Providence Heights Housing Scheme.

Sinclair also questioned the reliability of the JPS’s RAMI metering system, which was introduced in the affected communities as a part of the company’s drive to improve efficiency and accountability.

“Since the JPS has introduced the RAMI metering system, residents have been receiving light bills three times more than what they would normally pay,” said Sinclair.

According to Sinclair, the RAMI system has proven to be unreliable, noting that residents have been billed using estimated bills for extended periods beyond the minimum guaranteed standards.

“Under the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) minimum guaranteed standards, customers of the JPS should not receive more than two consecutive months of estimated electricity bills.

“Due to system defects in the RAMI system, residents in my division have received several months of estimated bills, and it is on those bills that JPS is taking enforcement action to include disconnection of supplies. That just cannot be right,” stated Sinclair.

Address accurate costing

He noted that unlike any good supplier of service, the JPS should ensure that it is providing an accurate costing of goods and services to a customer and should address whatever systems defects that are undermining their service.

“The JPS should have sought to engage the residents through community meetings, outline their challenges, and work towards an agreeable solution. That should be the approach of a good corporate citizen.”

Sinclair also took issue with the JPS over malfunctioning street lights in his division. He noted that the Government recently paid the JPS $9 billion for outstanding street light bills.

“All these situations exist right across St James and affect the safety of residents and detract from the aesthetics,” added Sinclair.