Clashes once again halt power supply in south
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Fierce clashes between security forces and Taliban militants have cut off the main supply of power to southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces, officials said on Monday.
Helmand electricity chief Eng. Nasratullah Qani told Pajhwok Afghan News that the two days of clashes in areas between Kajaki and Sangin districts had cut off the power supply lines at various locations.
He said the team they sent to the areas had been able to repair the lines at some locations, but suspended work after the clashes resumed.
Qani said the lines would be repaired on emergency basis once the situation improved.
Kandahar Electricity Department deputy head Amanullah Farooqi also said electricity supply to the province from the Kajaki hydropower plant remained halted since Friday.
He said they had also sent a team to the Kajaki district, but the clashes made it difficult to repair the lines.
Farooqi said people faced numerous problems in the absence of electricity in the hot weather conditions.
A resident of Kandahar City, Syed Rahim, told Pajhwok Afghan News that hot weather and lack of electricity had made their lives miserable.
He said most of the people used electric pumps to fetch water from wells and they had lost access to clean drinking water as a result of the blackout.
The supply lines to the two provinces have repeatedly been cut off in the past due to similar clashes between security forces and armed insurgents.
According to the Kandahar electricity department, the lines had been cut off 20,000 times during the past years.
Kandahar needs 150 to 170 megawatts of electricity, but the province is currently supplied 27 megawatts --- 15 megawatts from diesel-run generators in Bagh Pul, Barishna Kot and Shorandam areas and 10 to 12 megawatts from the Kajaki dam.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.