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Senior officials summoned over Kabul load-shedding

Senior officials summoned over Kabul load-shedding

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Nov 29, 2017 - 18:48

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The Wolesi Jirgainfo-icon on Wednesday summoned senior electricity officials over hours-long load-shedding in central capital Kabul, urging them to resolve the problem.

Those summoned by the lower house of parliament included officials from the Ministry of Water and Energy and Da Afghanistaninfo-icon Breshna Sherkat (DABS), the power distribution authority.

Mohammad Gul Khulami, deputy water and energy minister and DABS officials Nangyali Miakhel, Khalis Stanikzai and Mujib Rahman Momand before before lawmakers during today’s session.

Parliamentarian Fawzia Kufi from northeastern Badakhshan province, accused officials of the Ministry of Water and Energy (MoEW) of ‘incompetency’ and said: “Darkness descends on Kabul despite the passage of 16 years.”

He said people were deprived of electricity in a country where water was available in abundance. “This shows MoEW officials’ incompetency”, she added.

Mohammad Hussain Fahimi, a lawmaker from Sar-i-Pul province, said: “Kabul is the worldinfo-icon’s only capital where people have access to electricity for only 12 hours a day.”

He said high price of electricity and frequent load shedding in winter was a matter of concern and relevant officials should find a solution to this problem.

Fahimi accused DABS of unequal distribution of power to Kabul residents and said the power utility had divided Kabul people into first, second and third grade consumers.

Nangyali Miakhel, deputy operations head at DABS, said the power utility was working on a mid-term project to resolve electricity shortage in Kabul.

He said importing 500kw electricity from Turkmenistan was one of the projects aimed at resolving the shortage of power in the capital. “Work on this project will complete until 2018 end.”

Mujib Rahman Momand, DABS head for Kabul, said load shedding in Kabul increased due to high demand of electricity but they were trying to resolve the problem by activating power generators and solar system on a temporary basis.

He said 50 megawatts of electricity would be imported from Turkmenistan to Kabul next month and it would help resolve power shortage to a great extent.

According to DABS, Kabul residents currently consume 350 megawatts of electricity, of which 300 megawatt is imported form Tajikistan and the rest generated at Naghlu, Mahipar and Sarobi hydropower plants.

Acting water and energy minister, Mohammad Gul Khulami said they had plans for producing more electricity and encouraging the private sector for investment in the area.

“Domestic and foreign companies are interested to invest in this area, we were able to promote a competition in the private sector in a short period of time, we would soon sign a contract with a private company for building a dam on Kokcha River,” he said.

mds/ma

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