BVI Electricity Corporation (BVIEC) workers are being accused of accepting bribes to fast-track power restoration for select residents in the British Virgin Islands.
BVIEC workers are also being accused of taking materials from utility poles in certain areas and using them to power other areas in the territory.
Deputy General Manager at the BVIEC, Henry Creque said only one of those accusations is true.
“From time to time, yes, material has been used from one location and given to another,” he said while responding to the claims.
“In the beginning, it wasn’t such a big issue to customers because the material was on the ground … But it is at the stage now where sometimes I ask them (linesmen) to get some materials off of poles to use in different areas just because that area is closer to the existing power or it may have been just to extend the main line further along so that all the customers along the main line eventually get power.”
The BVIEC boss said materials are being taken because of a general shortage of electrical parts needed to facilitate power restoration.
He said shipments of new materials don’t arrive in the territory quickly enough so the BVIEC usually take parts from select locations to complete work in areas where restoration efforts had already begun.
Creque, however, noted that parts are not taken from areas where it would take a considerably long time to be replaced.
He urged residents to be patient with the electricity company.
BVIEC workers taking bribes not reported
In relation to claims that BVIEC workers are accepting bribes, Creque has condemned any such practice.
“We will take that extremely seriously if crews are being paid [illegally]. If anybody is taking any kind of illegal contribution or whatever, that is extremely serious.”
He continued: “I have no knowledge of any such incident. But, if any customer or anyone has ever heard of something, I would hope that it would be reported to us if they have any evidence. But, thus far we have not received any such complaints.”
It is said that power has been restored to approximately 60 percent of the territory. Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communications and Works, Anthony McMaster said power restoration will be completed by Easter.
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