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The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has warned utility providers that it would apply the necessary sanctions and penalties if they did not adhere to the highest level of service delivery to the public.

The Commission gave the warning at a meeting with the Electricity Company of Ghana, the Volta River Authority, the Ghana Grid Company and the Ghana Water Company over the intermittent power outages and water shortages being experienced by consumers in some parts of the country.

Mr Stephen Adu, Executive Secretary of the PURC, told the utility providers that the Commission was not pleased with the kind of service being rendered to the public and that every attempt should be made to ensure that the consumer, who paid for the service, got value for money.

While acknowledging that outages and shortages could not be eliminated completely because of the poor state of the utilities, Mr Adu, however, emphasised that the current situation where lights went off abruptly without any warning or communication with the public must stop to ensure that the public was not affected adversely.

"Electricity is the main driver of the economy and there is no doubt that these intermittent outages are affecting industry which is the main engine of growth in the country," he said.

Mr Adu said effective communication with the public was very important to enable consumers to save equipment that could be lost through the intermittent interruptions.

Mr Charles Darku, Chief Executive Officer of the Ghana Grid Company, explained that the recent major system collapse was due to an engineering work where two coastal lines running from Takoradi through Winneba to Accra were taken off to allow a contractor working on the 330KV line to string the lines.

"But unfortunately as this work was going on, another major line developed a fault which resulted in the system collapse," he said.

Representatives of the electricity utilities at the meeting assured the PURC that even though there were disturbances due to the fragile nature of the system, there was enough power to feed the systems and pledged their willingness to ensure that the highest level of service was delivered to the consumer.

The Ghana Water Company (GWC) and AVRL agreed that there were problems in the delivery of water services to the public in parts of Kumasi and especially in the Madina and Adenta areas in Accra.

Mr Nii Okai Kotei, Director for Water at the PURC, asked the GWC and AVRL to adhere to the rationing programme meant to provide water during the dry season to mitigate the effects of water shortages on consumers.

There must also be interim measures aimed at providing water for distressed areas like Madina, Adenta, Tantra Hill, ACP Estates and some parts of Kumasi.

In addition, the Ghana Water Company must present an implementation framework to PURC, spelling out plans and strategies aimed at solving the issue of water shortages in the country.
Source: GNA

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