Load shedding triggers public anger against power utility
JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Load shedding in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nangarhar province, has evoked a strong public reaction against the Brishna Shirkat (power utility).
Nangarhar social media activists alleged the new leadership of the Breshna Shirkat was too incompetentand weak to deal with the lingering challenge, which has caused residents multiple problems.
Abdullah Hod, a resident and civil society activist from Jalalabad City, told Pajhwok Afghan News that they were at great trouble of warm weather as load shedding has increased in the city.
“I don’t know what the problem is, but we go without electricity for 10 hours in 24 hours. The weather is too hot. Children, women and the elderly are really in trouble,” he said, asking the central government to find a permanent solution.
Eng. Stana Mir Zaheer, a civil society activist and writer, hit out at Nangarhar officials for their negligence on the issue. In a lighter vein, he wrote in a Facebook post: “Civil society activists would soon hold a meeting to praise (sic) the new leader of Breshna Shirkat, whose leadership turned off lights and fans.”
A shopkeeper in Jalalabad, Insarullah, said the weather was hot in the city and he had to use a power generator to keep his beverages and juices cold.He has suffered losses using the generator.
Deputy Governor Mohammad Hanif Gardiwal confirmed increased load shedding, saying some fundamental measures were needed to resolve the problem.
“Maybe we have problems in balanced distribution of electricity, but it could not be solved even if a balance is enforced,” Gardiwal wrote on his Facebook page.
He blamed Nangarhar’spublic representatives in the central government for failing to share the issue with relevant officials for decisive action.
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has given the Breshna Shirkat $1.2 billion in aid, but it was not spent on improving capacity and enhancing power generation in Nangarhar, he added.
Breshna ShirkatDirector Dr. Wahidullah Popal said: “You know I was appointed as the head of the department two weeks ago. Nangarhar’s electricity has three main problems from the past.”
He said Nangarhar was supplied with 28 megawatts of electricity, an amount of power. But a turbine at the Daronta Dam ran into problems and some problems hit cables in Badpash area, causing a shortage of electricity.
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