Officials of the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) on Monday met with residents at the Vreed-en-Hoop Stelling in Region Three (Essequibo Islands-West Demerara), where a number of complaints were received about the sloppy utility services in the area.The PUC booth ready to engage persons at the Vreed-en-Hoop stellingResidents visited the officials to discuss some of their unresolved utility problems from service providers, namely the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI), the Guyana Power Light (GPL), Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company (GTT) and Digicel.The initiative was primarily geared at informing the PUC of pertinent matters relating to the main services providers with the intention that it will be resolved.A majority of persons told Guyana Times that they were pleased that some pressing issues were heard.However, action needs to be taken on the part of the Commission to ensure that the services are bettered. For some time, they have been paying their dues while most companies have barely mustered to provide an average service.One of the major setbacks continues to be the unreliable supply of power from GPL, as a result of power outages. In the past months, some villages were slapped with blackouts which lasted many hours and up to one day.Telephone servicesOne woman, on the other hand, told this publication prior to visiting the booth that she was having issues with GTT and her charges, which were seemingly inaccurate. She contended that the fees were hiked even though the telephone usage was not increased.“My bills doubled within the last month and it wasn’t that we were using the phone more. Everybody in my house work and we’re out of the house. I just don’t understand,” she lamented.However, as it relates to the liberalisation of the communications sector for increased competition and better services, Government in March inked a “non-binding” agreement with Guyana Telephone and Telegraph (GTT) – a company owned by US-based Atlantic Tele-Network (ATN) — which has held the monopoly over the local telecommunications market for more than 20 years.A joint statement from the Public Telecommunications Ministry and GTT had stated that while the MoU was non-binding, the signing nevertheless represented a major step toward fully liberalising Guyana’s telecommunications market. This was after they would have missed the 2018 year-end deadline for the complete liberalisation of the public telecommunications sector.WaterIn the past year, communities along the West Coast of Demerara have also suffered from an unstable water supply. Back in September, a number of areas were without water for two weeks. During that time, many claimed that it was a constant issue which has not been rectified despite numerous written complaints. Affected villages included Zeelugt, De Kinderen, Tuschen and Meten-Meer-Zorg among others.In some instances, persons were forced to fetch water from long distances, some were forced to purchase water while others had to do without. The Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) of Tuschen-Uitvlugt had mailed written complaints to the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) but they were reportedly told that there were no such reports.