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Krobo Odumase clashes : Police secure restraining order to protect PDS premises

By Justice Kofi Bimpeh
Police in Krobo Odumase

The Police have secured an order restraining groupings within the Krobo in the Eastern Region from entering the premises of the Power Distribution Service (PDS) to attack its staff and installations.

According to Graphiconline, the police in the area was granted the order to restore peace and order in the community.

This action has been necessitated by the virtual standoff between the company and residents of the area over electricity bills and a supposed indebtedness of the residents to the company which has led to violent clashes.

Bills have not been paid since 2017

The Power Distribution Service, PDS Manager, Edward Okyere of Somanya in the Eastern Region says residents of Krobo Odumase have unsettled bills since 2017.

According to the PDS Manager, the residents have huge sums of money to pay for the regular power supply but has failed to do so.

The PDS has withdrawn its staff working on some vital power projects in the area following the attack on them, the company has also disconnected the power supply to several communities.

Speaking to Starr Fm, the PDS manager Edward Okyere said: "For bills having problems we have worked on them. Since 2017 some people have not paid their bills so even if your monthly bill is GH 50 and from 2017 up till now you have not paid, just multiply 50 by 20 and you could see the person has a huge sum to clear''.

PDS suspends mass disconnection exercise

The Power Distribution Service, PDS has suspended its mass power disconnection exercise at Manya Kpongunor in the Lower Manya Krobo district in the Eastern Region.

The decision to suspend the exercise follows attacks on some personnel of the power distributor who were embarking on a disconnection exercise. Three people were shot as police clashed with the angry youth threatening to lynch the staff of the PDS.

The power supply of the area has been cut as the result of the actions of the youth. So far three persons have been arrested in connection to the violence.

Meanwhile, the police has beefed up security in the area to protect the assets of PDS. In an interview with Starr FM, spokesperson of the Eastern Regional Police command Ebenezer Tetteh said :

''We have arrested three persons in custody of the Akuse police. We will continue to monitor the exercise closely and whatever assistance we are going to give to the PDS to embark on their legitimate exercise which is to disconnect those who are refusing to honour part of their obligation which is to pay for services provided by the PDS. Anybody who is going to be arrested will be dealt with in accordance with the law''.

Background

PDS is embarking on a mass disconnection exercise with armed Police personnel in Somanya, Odumase Krobo and its environs. The exercise dubbed “Revenue Mobilization” according to Somanya District Manager of PDS Ing. Edward Ochire has become necessary due to the failure of many residents to pay their electricity bills since 2017. A situation he said has led to revenue shortfalls of the company.

Hundreds of houses have been disconnected in the ongoing exercise which started May 13, 2019, from Kpong and Nuaso communities.

One person was put behind bars for attempting to resist disconnection of his house. Since the exercise began, many of the affected residents have been trooping to the offices of PDS to pay their accumulated bills.

Since the exercise began, many of the affected residents have been trooping to the offices of PDS to pay their accumulated bills ranging between Ghc3,000 and Ghc7,000″

A feud between residents and workers of ECG now PDS turned bloody in 2017 when angry residents in Somanya attacked its office for over billing.

Police vehicles were torched and properties destroyed in the violent attacks. Many residents have since refused to pay electricity bills and have threatened to attack PDS staff who attempt disconnecting their homes.

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