St. John’s Antigua- Two politically aligned radio stations have been silenced as the Antigua Public Utilities Authority (APUA) carried out its threat to disconnect delinquent customers from the corporate community.
Unable to come up with the thousands of dollars required to clear their arrears, opposition Antigua Labour Party (ALP) aligned ZDK Liberty Radio and Sun FM, which operates from the same building, and United Progressive Party (UPP) aligned Crusader Radio will remain off air until further notice, sources said.
ZDK and Sun FM reportedly owe over $150,000 while Crusader has racked up $90,000 in arrears for electricity.
A well-placed source who spoke on condition of anonymity told OBSERVER Media that at about 10 am on Thursday the lights went out at the ZDK/Sun FM Bird Road, Ottos building.
The source said APUA has offered that company the option of paying at least half of the amount before it can be re-connected.
Despite indicating he knows when the stations would be back on air, the company’s manager Sean Bird did not reveal the date or time for the reconnection and he declined to give further comment.
In July 2010, ZDK and Sun FM faced similar disconnections but electricity was restored within two hours.
Crusader Radio on the other hand has been without power since late Wednesday. Up to press time, it was unclear what, if any, arrangement the company was seeking to clear the outstanding sum.
Workers were reportedly left in the dark during a meeting with the Board of Directors to discuss pertinent issues going forward.
The UPP owns an 80 per cent share in the financially troubled company, which has been struggling to meet payroll and stay on air in recent years.
The disconnections come within days of APUA’s announcement it would be taking a hard and fast approach to collecting from companies in arrears, particularly those that have repeatedly defaulted on promises to clear their debts.