The National- Monday, January 24, 2011
I HAVE have spent the past seven days in Lae (since Sunday, Jan 16) and have noted that not a single goes by without residents here putting up with at least two extended electricity blackouts every single day!
These extended blackouts can range from anywhere between two and nine hours at different parts of the city.
I posted a comment about this on the social network site, Facebook, and received responses from friends residing here that basically, “em normal ya”.
I assume that they have accepted and are resigned to the fact that such unscheduled, extended power interruptions are an everyday part of life in Lae.
This, in my opinion, should not be the case! Not for anyone living in Lae, nor for that matter elsewhere throughout PNG where the rate-paying, power consuming public, should expect and must receive from PNG Power Limited uninterrupted power supply.
Of course allowing for the outages which are beyond PNGPL control.
The poor level and quality of service we as rate paying electricity consumers are receiving from PNGPL is probably reflective of the level of accountability the board and management of that organization have towards the state, and most importantly, us. If they were ever held liable for the quality of service provided, we would have seen the realisation of two possible scenarios: An improved and sustained, uninterrupted supply of electricity; or resignations en mass by the board and management for failing to provide and maintain adequate power supply!
Unfortunately, we live in PNG so the likelihood of either scenarios eventuating is extremely low.
As such, it is high time members of the general public, raise serious concerns through our elected representatives to have this matter resolved.
The socio-economic costs these continuous power interruptions have on households and businesses would be difficult quantify, however, it is safe to say that they are a major inconvenience to daily life and business.
Please note, the PNGPL “Standard Customer Supply and Sale Contract” Point No. 17 – Interruptions to Supply (The National, Nov 17, 2010).
It is specifically stated that PNG Power Limited “without derogating in any way from the regulatory contract or the electricity code … must give … reasonable notice before interrupting or limiting the supply of electricity”.
Therefore, can someone from PNG Power shed some “light” as to why and how it is that we the power-consuming and rate-paying public have to put up with this ridiculous service from them?
Why should we be continuously subject to this load-shedding modus operandi?
We are after all living in the year 2011 and expect a better service.