By KHRISNA RUSSELL
Deputy Chief Reporter
Load shedding is expected to continue in parts of New Providence this week as demand for electricity peaks, a Bahamas Power and Light spokesperson confirmed yesterday.
With power cuts occurring this year as far back as mid-April and regular load shedding since June 19, BPL has been unable to definitively say when the situation is expected to get better.
However, the only things consumers have learned to expect are frequent power cuts. Calling this a crisis, Bishop Simeon Hall urged BPL to “fix the light before darkness causes someone’s death”.
The prominent religious leader said officials need to make fixing the problem a national priority.
“Electricity to households and businesses has become unreliable and is interrupted for far too often and far too long. Traffic lights are off regularly, and even church services and funerals are made to endure heat and darkness,” Bishop Hall said in a brief press statement.
“As far as the sick and the elderly are concerned, we are touching the danger zone as these persons are the most affected and the most disadvantaged. I call on BPL to fix the light before this darkness causes someone’s death. The blame for this dark period in BPL’s service is hardly tenable and must be laid at the feet of management and those who placed them there ought not to reward incompetence.
“Is this not the board that was brought in because another board had failed? When politicians blame each other it never helps - the citizens are always adversely impacted,” Bishop Hall added.
At 5.40pm yesterday, BPL confirmed two-hour load shedding rotations for Sir Lynden Pindling Estates, East Bay Shopping Centre, Eastwood Estates, Sandals Royal Bahamian Resort and the Hilton car park.
Ahead of this, the power provider said it was forced to begin manual load shedding at 4.17pm beginning with the areas around Marathon Mall and Cable Beach. Consumers complained that load shedding exercises appeared to be disproportionate as some western areas had no power for hours on Saturday.
“Don’t load shed in the west. We had our share yesterday. Enough already!” one angry customer posted to BPL’s Facebook page yesterday.
Another said: “But Cable Beach was off for more than six hours yesterday... simply not fair!”
As for Saturday’s challenges in western New Providence, a BPL spokesperson said investigations are ongoing.
“(There was a) technical fault with a transformer at Windsor Field and there was another problem with the station at JFK and those problems affected our supply in West Ridge JFK, Blake Road south and the areas around the international airport. The teams were out from about 5pm yesterday (Saturday) to resolve the problem.
“They repaired it after 8.52pm and the system was back on.
“(However) there was a small problem with them having to take it bake offline and at 11.15pm those affected by that small problem were back up.”
On Sunday in Abaco, BPL also had issues with its Man-O-War Cay feeder at 9.32am. A team was able to restore power at 3.41pm after resolving the issue.