Family held hostage by JPS wire
A St Andrew homeowner is now faced with the choice of either coming up with nearly $44,000 to have a Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) wire removed from his premises or allow it to stay there and risk being electrocuted.
Germaine Smith of Temple Hall, St. Andrew, said that a JPS guy wire, which is rooted in his yard, is a nuisance. He is also fearful that it could, one day, give him the shock of his life.
A guy wire is a tensioned cable designed to add stability to poles.
A certified electrician told THE STAR that although a guy wire is not electrified, there is always the possibility that it can become charged with electricity.
The electrician said that this may happen if the pole breaks or branch makes contact with both the guy wire and a live wire at the same time.
Smith's mother told THE STAR that all members of the household are fearful that the wire could become live and cause harm.
"It's really a hazard here. The baby can't come out in the yard. We fear that he may touch the wire and become exposed to electricity. I don't understand why we should pay JPS to remove it," she told THE STAR.
When our news team contacted the JPS, Director of Corporate Communications, Winsome Callum, said there are circumstances when persons requesting the removal of JPS electrical equipment from their premises, are required to pay.
"The Company approaches these situations on a case-by-case basis", Callum said.
While informing Smith that he has to stand the $43,933.73 cost for the removal of the guy wire, the light and power company said that based on its analysis, the Temple Hall property was purchased by Smith with the guy wire erected on the premises.
Smith, meanwhile, has sought the services of an attorney to help him fight the JPS but said it has taken a toll on his pocket.
"It costs each time I am to get a legal aid attorney to speak with or write to JPS on the matter. I can't park my car in my yard, and my child is unable to play outside,î he said.