An agreement has been reached by authorities in the Lower Manya Krobo municipality in the Eastern Region, directing residents to allow staff of Power Distribution Services (PDS) access to homes to “pick current readings from their metres to generate actual bills for them”.
This follows an emergency meeting held on Friday after days of clashes between residents and staff of PDS over electricity bills.
The clashes, which saw the intervention of the police, have led to the loss of one life.
The emergency meeting had in the attendance the Member of Parliament of Lower Manya Krobo Constituency, Ebenezer Tei Larbi, six assembly members of the municipality, the Tema Region General Manager and some staff of PDS as well as representatives of the Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC).
They resolved to follow a roadmap to quell the clashes.
MP Tei Larbi and the assembly members committed at the meeting that the residents have agreed to pay and some are paying their bills.
The meeting also agreed that debt rescheduling should be on merit of each customer’s specific case.
More importantly, the MP, assembly members, chiefs and opinion leaders are expected to talk to residents to create the peace and enabling environment for PDS staff and installations.
They are also to guarantee the safety of PDS staff to “enable them work and serve the customers”.
This has been made the condition for which all transformers will be restored for the area.
Residents have been directed to allow staff of the power-distributing firm access to their homes to read metres “to generate actual bills for them”.
PDS has also audited the total debt of the area from GH¢195,725,500.29 to GH¢84,625,624.87.
The customers have also been urged to show commitment by beginning payment of their debt.
Those who are unable to pay one-off have been urged to visit PDS for a debt rescheduling plan.
PDS has also relaxed its original 70 per cent upfront payment demand and will schedule the debt at a minimum of six months “and possible extension when the need is genuine”.
The MP and the assembly members have also been asked to update residents on the outcome of the meeting and the agreed roadmap and communicate back to the PURC and PDS.