Residents flay low power voltage
NEILI (Pajhwok): Residents of central Daikundi province on Sunday complained against low voltage and high electricity prices. As many as 50,000 families, living in Neili, are deprived of electricity. Another 90 percent are forced to use solar systems.
The Ministry of Water and Power has launched a pilot project under the Ghazni Rural Stability Programme (GRSP), providing each family with 50 watts of solar electricity.
Eng. Qurban Ali Musadiq, the director of Afghanistan Breshna Shirkat (ABS), said electricity was being supplied to the people of Daikundi according to the criteria established by the power utility.
Abdul Raziq, a local resident, said the government provided solar system could ensure supply for three hours only.
He said industrial sector in the province could develop until electricity with high voltage was not provided.
Zarin, a woman and resident of Neili City said: “I am a tailor by profession and earn decent income if electricity is available in our locality.”
Meanwhile, the ABS has started supplying power to 500 shops in the main Neili bazaar, however, people complained against high prices of generator based electricity that cost 45 afs per watt.
Khair Mohammad, a butcher, said earlier his meat used to spoil because there was no electricity to keep the meat fresh in the freezer.
The ABS director said electricity generation in Diakundi depended upon the availability of fuel for which the consumers had to pay on time. He rejected the allegation of fraud in the process.
Musadiq said that 16 government institutions, the new bazaar of Neili and a house had been provided with electricity. The generator had the capacity of 132 kilo watt electricity which is enough for around 1,000 houses.
In order to resolve the problems, they planned to construct a power dam in Sokhtok area on the outskirts of Neili City, said the ABS director.
He said the project had already been set for bidding process, with the winner company would start working soon.
After two years, he said all residents of Neili City would have access to three megawatts electricity with low cost.
About the development plan of old Neili bazaar, he said survey had already been completed, while bazaar of the capital would come under coverage of ABS in near future.
Having 2,000 shops, electricity to Neili bazaar is being provided through a generator, which costs high for shopkeepers, he acknowledged.
Mohammad Raza, a shopkeeper, said some time the generator’s electricity is disconnected, prompting him to use his own generator to print photos for his customers.
“This generator has now become outdated. It doesn’t work well,” he added.
About electricity supply to bazaar, Raza said: “Someone purchased a big generator to provide electricity to the bazaar, but he seeks too much money from us.”
He urged government to monitor the electricity distribution process and apply some measures to ensure transparency.
But Ali Raza, who recently elected as Neili’s City council head, said it was among his top priority to supervise the power distribution process.
Mohammad Zahir Hashimi, a resident of Ashtarali district, said he spent 76,000 afghanis on solar system, but it could not meet his electricity needs.
“The facility provides electricity for a television and a fan only,” he said, adding he wanted to use refrigerator, water-pump, washing machine but there is electricity problem.
He believed provision of electricity would resolve unemployment problem among youth to great extent.
Hashimi said construction of a power dam on Helmand River would help provide enough electricity for residents of Ashtarali district, adding some parts in Daikundi had good places dams’ construction.
Most of the residents in far-flung parts of the country still use lamps because of absence of electricity.
Locals and civil society members complained about weak governance and rampant administrative graft in Daikundi province.
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