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May 16, 2014
Star News



André Williams and Crystal Harrison, STAR Writers

Several paying Jamaica Public Service Company (JPS) customers in at least one inner-city community are still bitter about the light and power company's recent stance to reduce the hours of electricity in areas where they detect the greatest non-compliance.

Some of the paying residents in Kingston 11 were greatly affected and are questioning the way in which the power company tackled the problem.

Juliet Green, who operates a bar, said the action of JPS was unfair. "That's not right, that a wickedness because I pay my light bill. Is a bar me have and if yuh fi lock off my tings for eight hours the ting dem ago eventually get hot and a go spoil. Wah kinda system dat? Implement other measures for those who don't pay, but the people who a pay nuh fi suffer," Green said.

Green provided her most recent bill to show that she is a paying customer. "Mi bar legal enuh and mi nah thief ... dem need fi come check it out cause dem a overcharge me. Ten people can't hold ina my bar and dem a charge me $16,000 and $18,000," Green said.

non-paying neighbours

Another resident who said he lived between two non-paying neighbours said he was greatly affected.

He said: "I am suffering. The light go away from in the morning and don't come back til all 7'o clock for over a month now. I pay my bill every month and it's unfair because JPS still gonna send us the same bill."

Alma Hunter, 80, said she makes sacrifices as a pensioner to ensure her bills are paid. "I make sacrifice to pay my own because we could never expect fi live free in this country at a time like now. I don't owe one-month water or one-month light," Hunter said.

During a meeting at Jamaica House on Wednesday, the Government and JPS agreed that a joint committee will probe electricity theft. This came on the heels of a directive issued by the Office of Utilities Regulation for the JPS to cease and desist the anti-theft measure.

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