Taliban cut off power supply to Lashkargah
LASHKARGAH (PAN): After blowing up power pylons in southern Kandahar province, the Taliban have cut off transmission lines supplying power to Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand province, an official said on Saturday.
A power utility official acknowledged the department's inability to restore electricity supply to Lashkargah without the Taliban's agreement.
The rebels cut off transmission lines between the Kajaki hydropower dam and Lashkargah four days ago in retaliation for a military operation against them five days ago in the Maiwand town in Kandahar.
Helmand power department chief, Eng. Faizullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News the Taliban had destroyed three electricity pylons in Maiwand before cutting off transmission lines three days ago in the Sangin and Greskh districts plunging Lashkargah into darkness.
He said when they sent a team of officials to repair the lines, the Taliban arrested them and seized their equipment. However, he said the officials were later released, but the restoration of power supply remained unresolved.
He claimed the Taliban collected 55 million afghanis from 25,000 consumers every two months in areas under their control, while the power company collected bills from 15,000 clients.
Faizullah warned of suspending electricity to areas under Taliban influence if the rebels did not agree to restore the supply to Lashkargah.
Residents, meanwhile, urged both the government and the Taliban not to politicise the issue. "We are in deep trouble in the wake of increasing hot weather conditions and soaring prices of fuel," a shop owner in the city said.
Another resident, Jalaluddin, said residents faced with an acute shortage of drinking water in the absence of electricity over the past three days.
So far, the Taliban have so said nothing about the matter.
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