Power utility owed 850m afs in Herat unpaid bills
HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Local Breshna Sherkat (power utility) officials on Tuesday said a number of consumers owed 850 million afghanis in unpaid bills to the company in western Herat province.
Herat Breshna Sherkat acting head Wahid Kamrani told Pajhwok Afghan News that the power utility incurred 168 million afghanis losses as a result of non-payment of electricity bills by consumers and the recent decrease in the Afghan currency’s value.
He said the electricity tariff would be increased from the start of next solar year due to the devaluation of the afghani against the US dollar and the huge amount of unpaid bills.
“The Herat industrial park, government offices and residential homes owe 850 million afghanis in unpaid bills that have a negative impact on our services. We would be unable to provide better services if the situation continues,” Kamrani added.
Of the 850 million afghanis arrears, 150 million has to be paid by government offices, 80 million by industrial companies, 90 million by commercial areas and 530 million by residential buildings, he added.
Kamrani did not name government departments defaulting on power bills. He said most residents of Kahsan and Gulran districts were refusing to clear their dues.
“Some villages even do not allow power utility officers to collect electricity bills,” he said.
However, residents of Herat City said the increase in electricity rate could not be justified by the decrease in the Afghan currency value.
Rahmatullah Alizai, an inhabitant of the city said: “We do not know why local residents are subjected to power price hike while most of the power is used by dwellers of districts who earn all their income from farming activities run by heavy usage of electricity, I think it is injustice against city residents.”
Meanwhile, the governor’s spokesman Ihsanullah Hayat warned defaulters of decisive action if they failed to pay their outstanding power bills.
Not only in Herat, government offices and some people in other provinces including capital Kabul also owe millions of afghanis in unpaid power bills to the power utility.
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