Linden Residents begin protest against electricity rate hike
Residents of Linden have started what they hope will be a prolonged period of protests against government’s move to increase the electricity rate in the bauxite community. The increases will take effect from this weekend and linden residents will find themselves paying almost 3 times more than what they are currently paying. Today a group of Lindeners travelled to the city and held a picketing exercise outside the office of the President. They contend that most of the citizens of the town are not in a position to pay the steep increases of up to 300%. They point to the jobless rate in the town added to its poor economic performance and they make it clear that they just can’t afford it.
Prime Minister Samuel Hinds has been defending government’s move saying that Linden is an economically viable community even with its 70% unemployment rate. The Prime Minister who worked in the bauxite industry for years before turning to the world of politics 2 decades ago said recently that Linden is not a depressed community, echoing statements he had made on the campaign trail back in 2011 that the town has gotten its fair share of government’s economic spending. Lindeners say that is not so and they believe strongly that the reason they are being saddled with new rates now is because the town overwhelmingly voted for the opposition at the last elections.
Region 10’s Chairman Sharma Solomon has said that citizens of the town are unable to pay not unwilling. He said the government has failed over the past 2 decades to take any form of economic development to the community. He said the history of the electricity supply at Linden must be understood before persons criticize Lindeners for taking a stand against the increases.
The region 10 chairman said it’s not a case of Linden paying too little; it’s a case of the rest of Guyana paying too much for electricity.