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Thousands rally against overbilling in Herat

Thousands rally against overbilling in Herat

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Feb 16, 2015 - 19:23

HERAT CITY (Pajhwok): Thousands of people on Monday protested against what they called unfair raise in power tariff and inflated bills in western Herat province.

Chanting “we won’t pay power bills” and “don’t want electricity” the protesting residents had gathered in front of the provincial Water and Energy Department.

Mohammad Ismael, a dweller of the provincial capital, said they were demonstrating for their rights.

“People haven’t gathered here for their own interests. They represent four million inhabitants of this province. People are poor and unable to feed their families, but look at the bills. What this government has done to us,” he added.

“The president has promised us two loaves of bread, but now he is taking away from us the only loaf.”

Other protesters sought government’s action to correct the billing and warned of continuing their protests if their calls fell on deaf ears.

“In Kabulinfo-icon the price of one unit is 1.5 afs, but 5.20 afs are charged for the same in Herat,” said Behzad Yosufi, a civil societyinfo-icon activist.

Officials blamed the hike in electricity tariff on problems in the imported electricity system.

Wahid Kamrani, the energy department’s acting director, said they had to deal with problems plaguing lines carrying electricity from Iran.

According to Kamrani, 85 percent of the electricity was imported from Iran and the rest from Turkmenistan.

hg/ma

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