March 3, 2015
CWSA should revisit ‘harsh’ reconnection fee – Eustace

The reconnection fee presently being charged by the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) is “harsh” and should be “revisited.”

This is the opinion of Opposition Leader Arnhim Eustace who on the New Times radio programme yesterday, expressed concern for persons who have had their pipe borne water disconnected and are unable to make payments on their bill, especially when it includes the reconnection fee of $100.{{more}}

Eustace disclosed that he had written to chief executive officer of the CWSA Garth Saunders, suggesting that the fee be waived for a six-month period so that disconnected persons have the opportunity to pay.

“Many of us are inundated with our constituents constantly coming to get assistance because their water has been cut off,” the Opposition Leader said.

“The inconvenience of not having water at your home at all is not something to be taken lightly. I assume these persons who have to walk long distances to carry their children to bathe and these kinds of things, they don’t have water in the home, and they have problems to cook and all kinds of things.”

According to Eustace, more and more persons are without water because of their financial circumstances. Additionally, while he agrees that the rates for water are generally lower than those for electricity, his concern lies with the $100 reconnection fee, which is $77 more than the reconnection fee at VINLEC.

“I understand the need of the Authority to have a reconnection fee, but in the present circumstances, it is harsh and needs to be revisited,” Eustace said, as he read from the letter he sent to Saunders.

“I wish to recommend that the Authority waive the reconnection fee for a period of six months to permit many more persons or as many as possible to reconnect their water without having to pay that fee. This can go a long way in assisting persons, to have their water supply connected and at the same time, improve the cash flow of the water authority.”

When SEARCHLIGHT contacted the CEO of CWSA yesterday, Saunders said that he had not yet received the letter. He, however, indicated that he will make an official response once he has received it. (BK)