Several shopping malls around the country will shorten their operating hours starting tomorrow in an attempt to reduce electricity consumption a week after Minister of Electrical Energy Luis Motta Dominguez ordered malls to generate their own electricity between 1:00 PM and 3:00 PM, and between 7:00 PM and 9:00 PM. As a result of the request, an undisclosed number of malls will see their opening hours shifted to 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM from Monday to Friday.
The Venezuelan Chamber of Shopping Malls (CAVECECO) is currently in negotiations with the national government’s electrical energy agency, CORPOELEC, in the hopes of getting permission to have malls open from noon to 7:00 PM. According to CAVECECO, the move “would save 5 hours worth of electricity per day”, totaling approximately 2,600 Mwh.
According to CAVECECO, CORPOELEC’s energy saving proposal – which would see the operating hours split at two different points throughout the day – would be too disruptive to tenants that require refrigeration to operate, like pharmacies and restaurants. The organization said:
Uninterrupted hours of operation is the only option that allows us to comply with the energy-saving plan as well minimize the impact to the quality of life of Venezuelans, and to the economic activities that take place in shopping malls.
CAVECECO’s executive director, Claudia Itriago, said that a four hour disruption to mall operating hours would translate to the loss of two shifts lost for store workers, a move which might affect up to 75% of people who work in shopping malls.
Luis Motta Dominguez, the Minister of Electrical Energy and head of CORPOELEC, reminded mall operators that a law dating back to 2011 requires businesses that place high demand on the country’s electrical grid to install electrical generators to cover some of their consumption. Dominguez also doubled-down on his assertion that the problems plaguing the country’s electrical system are due to the El Niño weather phenomenon.
Capriles: Tourism Down 40% in Miranda During Holiday Season
Miranda state governor Henrique Capriles suggested earlier today that the carnaval season might not be as festive this year than in previous ones, since Miranda state has seen 40% fewer tourists than it did last year. Capriles also said that six people have been killed in transit collisions since Friday, and that 64 others have been injured.
Overall, Capriles said that this year’s carnaval in Miranda state has been “atypical”, and that it’s felt more like a normal weekend rather than an important holiday.
William Pelaez, the president of the Nueva Sparta Tourist Services Association, told El Sol de Margarita today that Margarita Island – once a popular vacation destination – has also seen a sharp decrease in tourist activities through the holidays. Pelaez said:
Tourism to [Margarita Island] during these holidays has decreased 50-60%.
Caracas Cemetery in Sorry State
Carlos Julio Rojas, the head of the Frente de Defensa del Norte de Caracas [Northern Caracas Defense Front] has pointed out that the Cementerio General del Sur [Southern General Cemetery] in Caracas is in a deplorable state, with garbage “piled up by the tonne” in the premises.
Garbage trucks stand out in their absence, and the weeds makes the grave sites nearly invisible.
Rojas also pointed out that robbers frequent the grounds and prey on visitors since the cemetery does not count with security guards.
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