The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has called for stiffer punishment to be meted out to those engaged in illegal utility connections to deter others from indulging in the practice.
Nana Yaa Jantuah, Director of External Affairs of the PURC, who gave the recommendation noted that if that was not checked, it would deprive the nation the needed power for distribution and supply.
Interacting with a cross-section of media practitioners in Sunyani, she noted that because punishment meted out to culprits was not punitive enough, it was encouraging people to continue with the criminal act.
Ms. Jantuah noted that the situation was serious and needed drastic measures to curtail the practice.
She announced that the PURC would soon open a new office in Sunyani, the regional capital of Brong Ahafo Region, to attend to complaints of utility consumers in the region.
Currently, the Ashanti regional PURC office has oversight responsibility for Brong Ahafo Region.
Ms. Jantuah said that the move was to bring their services to the door step of utility consumers as well as monitor standard performance of utility providers in the region.
The day’s forum which was attended by some selected Journalists across the region was to interact with the media on the operations of PURC as well as receive complaints which consumers often report to their outfits for prompt action.
She announced that the PURC was currently undertaking tariff reclassification review to ensure equity among consumers and urged the public to pay their utility bills on time for a better service delivery by the utility companies.
She debunked the assertion that her outfit passes on operational losses by service providers to consumers, explaining that the PURC had a bench mark loss of 21 per cent which does not permit them pass on losses to consumers.
From Daniel Dzirasah, Sunyani