Ru­ral folk de­mand re­spect from JPS, FLOW

Jamaica Gleaner - - OPINION & COMMENTARY -

THE ED­I­TOR, Sir: THE OF­FICE of Utilities Reg­u­la­tion’s (OUR) mis­sion is to con­trib­ute to na­tional de­vel­op­ment by cre­at­ing an en­vi­ron­ment for the ef­fi­cient de­liv­ery of util­ity ser­vices to the cus­tomers while en­sur­ing that ser­vice providers have the op­por­tu­nity to make a rea­son­able re­turn on in­vest­ment.

I would like to know who en­sures that this man­date is be­ing car­ried out ef­fec­tively, and, if not, what hap­pens. In my es­ti­ma­tion, only one as­pect of this mis­sion is be­ing pur­sued, and that is “en­sur­ing that ser­vice providers have the op­por­tu­nity to make a rea­son­able re­turn on in­vest­ment”. Cus­tomers are not re­ceiv­ing ef­fi­cient ser­vice from many ser­vice providers, es­pe­cially the Ja­maica Pub­lic Ser­vice Com­pany and FLOW. What is the OUR do­ing about that?

Some of us in res­i­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties have been silent and sen­si­tive to­wards th­ese en­ti­ties be­cause we know it may be dif­fi­cult to pro­vide high-qual­ity ser­vice to ru­ral ar­eas.

For the past week, we have ex­pe­ri­enced power cuts ev­ery sin­gle day. Also, our In­ter­net has been on and off. Th­ese prob­lems are even more prom­i­nent when we ex­pe­ri­ence rain. Based on the fact that this has been hap­pen­ing for years, it is ob­vi­ous that ser­vice providers are just set­tling for quick fixes in­stead of find­ing the root of the prob­lem and fix­ing it.

NO RE­SPECT

I know that if this was tak­ing place in the Cor­po­rate Area, th­ese ser­vice providers would send out of­fi­cers to work day and night un­til the is­sue was fixed and cor­po­rate Ja­maica would de­mand an ex­pla­na­tion. Why is it that cus­tomers liv­ing in ru­ral ar­eas don’t get the same re­spect, and what is the Gov­ern­ment and OUR do­ing about that?

It seems like the OUR is just a legacy de­part­ment that car­ries no real clout. Ev­ery now and then we see a press re­lease from it when things get re­ally bad, but there is no fol­low-up.

I im­plore the Gov­ern­ment to step in and en­sure that th­ese en­ti­ties pro­vide proper ser­vice and cus­tomer care to Ja­maican cit­i­zens, and if the OUR is no longer rel­e­vant, shut it down and stop wast­ing tax­pay­ers’ money. We de­mand re­spect. GARTH THOMP­SON tho­mot2@hot­mail.com

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