…co-op without electricity since 2004The Chairman of the Upper Corentyne Fishermen’s Co-operative Society, Pravinchandra Deodat, intends to take Guyana Power & Light Inc (GPL) to court for $300M in losses.Pravinchandra DeodatThe organization has been without a GPL connection since 2004, after the company and the fisheries had a big falling out over electricity tariffs.“Our company, for no reason got cut off since 2004.”He said that the fisheries used to pay normal bills every month. Deodat, who was Treasurer in those days, stated that the entire matter started with two GPL employees whom he accused of corruption. “They [the two named GPL employees] said that they can ‘assist’ us; that we can pay less [light bills] and asked us for a ‘raise’. We will pay just $300,http://www.footlockershop.us.com/Nike-roshe-one-flyknit/
,000 or $400,000. We refused.After we refused, then we started to get the problems and our bills started to increase for no reason.”Deodat noted that before then, the power company used to send a bill for over $ 1.2M per month. “It went up as high to $3M per month. And GPL complained that we owed them $26M.”He added that Prime Minister Samuel Hinds intervened and visited the complex in 2003 to listen to their problems about the electricity matter. He promised that he will intervene but he did not.”GPL took them to court and they had to pay $10M.He noted that the fisheries continued to pay GPL…”and [in] August 2004, they took away the meter… they never notified the Committee of Management…they didn’t give any reason, only that we owed them $26M…I did not owe them…” Deodat stated that his organization has historical records and proof that he paid …”They never find us stealing current.”The Chairman plans to take GPL to court and sue them for $300M in losses since 2004 in addition for wrongful disconnection for owed bills. The company suffered because it was their fault….they never said why they took away the meter.“I went and meet [Bharat] Dindyal several times and in my presence the Prime Minister called Dindyal and asked him to resolve the problem. I don’t know if they were bluffing or they are serious,” he opined.“Unto now we using generator and it breaking down steady and high costs”, he complained.When asked how they stock up on ice, he noted that the boats usually go to Suriname, where the ice is cheaper, load and return to Guyana with ice. “It’s affecting the industry.The No. 66 Fisheries.The government is not interested to give some duty- free diesel. We pay $50,000 per drum of diesel”, he stated.Deodat noted that he spends over $6M in operation costs for his diesel generator per month, while it costs over $7M to operate the generators at the fisheries, including for payment of staff there. “After GuySuCo, this is one of the biggest industries in the Upper Corentyne area and no attention. Some time the President passes—the only President that visited often was President Jagdeo—since President Ramotar takeover he never come and approach the fishermen.”Several efforts to make contact with the Berbice Manager of GPL, Mr. Ayube Bacchus, proved futile.“The government is spending billions of dollars on drainage and irrigation on rice farmers but they must realize that international markets don’t have demand for rice, and they should focus and pay more attention to fishermen,” he urged.The Number 66 Fisheries is governed by a Committee of Management which comprises seven persons. They all do voluntary work, he stated. They are Assistant Chairman, Mr. Thankoor Persaud Gopaul; Secretary, Mr. Bhawase Harripaul; Treasurer, Mr. Parmeshwar Jainarine; Assistant Treasurer, Mr. Madan Kumar; and Committee Members: Mr. Budnarine Persaud, Indar Persaud, and T. Ramdharry. Deodat also bemoaned that the Committee receives no assistance from the government.