By Evie Andreou
GEROSKIPOU Mayor Michalis Pavlides expressed his dismay with the Electricity Authority’s decision to turn off the power to the municipality on Friday morning over unpaid bills.
According to the mayor, the municipality owes €293,000 to EAC and for which they had agreed on a settlement to pay the sum in regular instalments by September.
The outstanding balance was €62,000 and the municipality paid €30,000 yesterday, instead of the €50,000 they were supposed to and asked for a few days to collect the remaining €20,000.
EAC subsequently proceeded with the power cut at 10.30am without giving any warning.
Pavlides said he called the EAC chairman who said he would look into the matter and that the power should be switched back on sometime during the day.
The mayor said he hoped power cut was not an act of revenge.
“I hope this move was not vindictive, because of a court case we have against the EAC,” Pavlides said.
He explained that the municipality had been repeatedly asking the EAC since 2004 to bury the high voltage cables that supply the new airport road, but the utility replied last year that they could not proceed due to lack of funds.
“Isn’t this a case of double standards? They refused to bury the cables because they did not have the money to do so, but they go on and cut power supply to us, despite the fact that we have been reliable and trustworthy for years,” Pavlides said.
The mayor also said that they had asked the EAC to assist the contractor that the municipality had hired to study a proposal to save energy, but the EAC had not replied, even when they were reminded again in March.
“Limassol has had the same measures implemented and now they have 33 per cent savings on their street lighting,” Pavlides said.
The EAC however, denies the fact that the power cut was related to anything else other than the municipality’s financial obligations to it.
“The municipality did not respond to the many payment facilities made to them, resulting in the EAC having no other option than to a power cut,” an announcement said.
he EAC said the mayor’s allegations that they denied the municipality’s proposition to settle the rest of the amount within seven days was not true and that even though they can prove it, they will not engage in such a process.
“EAC has an obligation to secure the collection of debts from all consumers,” the announcement said.