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‘More persons being connected than disconnected by VINLEC’

‘More persons being connected than disconnected by VINLEC’

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There are more new customers requiring connections from the state owned electricity company VINLEC than the private homes and businesses that are being disconnected.{{more}}

The point was made in Tuesday’s meeting of Parliament by Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves in his response to a question posed by Dr Godwin Friday.

Friday posed a question on behalf of the absent Leader of the Opposition Arnhim Eustace as to the number of persons who have had their electricity services disconnected as at January 31, 2012.

Based on information supplied, Gonsalves said that there were 40,417 customers of VINLEC up to the end of 2011.

According to the prime minister, VINLEC had over 10,000 new customers since his Unity Labour Party (ULP) administration took office in 2001.

There were 1,389 new customers in 2011, and based on the data supplied, the number of accounts remaining terminated for the same year was 885.

The prime minister explained, however, that it was difficult to determine if the figure was an accumulative number from another period, and that of those disconnected, it was difficult to ascertain if it was done so because of non-payment.

“The question assumes that persons have had their homes and businesses disconnected due to the lack of payment,” Gonsalves said.

“I understand the political mischief behind the question,” he continued, adding that the question was lacking in its quest for information.

Migration was a reason why people may have been disconnected the prime minister explained.

Similarly, Clayton Burgin, Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment, in his response to Eustace’s question to state the number of water consumers, argued that disconnections could not solely be attributed to non-payment, but some were from requests from owners of abandoned or unoccupied properties.

He, however, indicated that based on the period December 1, 2011, to January 31, 2012, 614 persons were disconnected, and a corresponding 635 persons were re-connected.

In the year 2000, 89 persons were disconnected and 47 re-connected for the corresponding period December into January; 2001 – 49 and 155; 2002 – 138 and 169; 2003 – 128 and 10; 2004 – 208 and 51; 2005 – 227 and 29; 2006 – 19 and 134; 2007 – 43 and 48; 2008 – 294 and 57; 2009 – 163 and 72; 2010 – 349 and 12 and 2011 – 327 and 21. (DD)

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