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PURC to take regulatory action against ECG for not releasing Load-shedding timetable

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Dr Ishmael Ackah is Executive Secretary of PURC

The Public Utilities Regulatory Commission (PURC) has observed that the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) has failed to comply with its directive to release a load-shedding timetable corresponding with the timelines and duration for each transformer injection.

The regulator says it has not seen any evidence of the publication of the load management timetable.

To that, the Commission said it  “is finalizing regulatory action on the above.”

Pressure has been mounted on the state power distributor to release the timetable following the erratic power supply (Dumsor) being experienced in parts of the country.

For instance, former Director of Public Relations and External Affairs at the PURC, Nana Yaa Jantuah, said that a timetable would have afforded the ECG the opportunity to know which areas to keep supplying electricity because the law says that power to hospitals and areas where people aged 70 years and above, who need electricity to store their drugs live, should not be taken off.

In the view of Nana Yaa Jantuah, a timetable from the ECG would have averted the situation where a nursing mother lost her three-day-old baby at the Tema General Hospital on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, allegedly due to the power outage at the facility.

Rashida Abubakar Tetteh, the 24-year-old distraught mother has disclosed that she was on admission at the Post C-S ward of the hospital when she was told by a doctor that the son couldn’t survive due to the non-functional medical equipment during the power outage.

“I went to visit my son, but I didn’t see him. I was waiting outside when one doctor came to inform me that they were sorry, but due to the lights out, my child could not survive because the incubator was not working.

“The lights went off on Tuesday evening. No staff has spoken to me, and they haven’t said anything to me,” she said.

“The law says you don’t have to put off the lights of the hospitals, a school, old people’s homes or even if there is a sick person in an area and it is known and the person needs electricity to store their drugs, who is beyond the age of 70 years, you don’t have to put off their light. But because it is being taken off at the bulk supply point over vast areas, GRIDCo who is doing it does not know who and who are where because they don’t deal with the customers, ECG deals with the customers so if they are taking off the power from their end certainly, they will know which areas to take, they will know which are the critical areas and which are not.”

Meanwhile, the Tema General Hospital has denied reports suggesting that the Tuesday outages caused any fatalities at the facility.

In a press release issued on Wednesday, March 27, the hospital dismissed these claims as baseless and urged the public to disregard them.

“It is worth noting that no lives were lost as a result of this power outage,” an excerpt of the statement said.

The statement emphasised the hospital’s unwavering commitment to prioritizing the health and safety of its patients above all else.

“The Tema General Hospital assures the general public that the facility will continue to put the health and safety of its patients at the core of its business,” the statement concluded.

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