Soaring coal prices worry Bamyan residents
BAMYAN CITY (PAN): The price of coal, mostly used for heating homes in the winter, has increased beyond the purchasing power of poverty-stricken families in central Bamyan province, residents complain.
The complaint comes after a large number of influential individuals and traders raised with the governor the issue of the unprecedented surge in fuel prices, especially of coal.
In the past, the government would extract coal from one of the mines in Klich district and people had been able to buy it. But the government stopped extracting coal two years back, causing an unprecedented increase in its price.
An influential, Haji Abdullah, told Pajhwok Afghan News people urgently needed fuel items because of cold weather this year. He said fuel prices doubled after the government closed the coalmine.
Mohammad Ghadir, who lives in a cave along with his eight-member family, said per seven kilograms of coal was available for 50 afghanis, compared with last year’s rate of 30 afghanis. “I do not have any job to meet my family’s needs. I fear losing my children to cold weather.”
Many residents living in caves requested the government to support them in dealing with harsh winter.
Governor Ghulam Ali Wahdat said he had shared people’s complaints with the Ministry of Mines. He cited a survey that showed 22,000 people in Bamyan were in dire need of fuel and food. “We have provided 800 tonnes of wheat for distribution to deserving families”
Mines Department head Hamidullah Lalai said they would decide in a month’s time on legal extraction of coal from the Yakawlang coalmine in order to reduce the prices and address people’s complaints.
He said the coalmine in Klich had been contracted out to China’s Metallurgical Corporation of China (MCC), but the company was currently engaged in developing the Ainak copper mine in Logar province.
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