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Taliban collect power bills from 40,000 Faryab families

Taliban collect power bills from 40,000 Faryab families

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Mar 26, 2019 - 18:50

MAIMANA (Pajhwok): Local officials in northern Faryab province claim Talibaninfo-icon militants not only collect electricity bills from around 40,000 households in rural areas but are also trying to threaten consumers in areas under the government control.

Ghulam Sakhi Wakilzada, head of Da Afghanistaninfo-icon Breshna Sherkat (DABS) for four districts of Faryab, told Pajhwok Afghan News that around 22,000 families were living in Andkhoi district and the Taliban collected power bills from 9,500 families there.

He said the Taliban had previously also threatened DABS to let them collect the power bills in areas under the government control.

“Afghanistan consumes most of electricity which is imported and DABS has also no ability to bear extra costs, therefore the power utility through mediation of tribal elders has asked the Taliban not to collect power bills in urban areas”, he said.

He said the Taliban then agreed to collect power bills only in areas which were under their control.

Wakilzada said the Taliban still collected power bills from residents of Qaramqol district, from 90 percent residents of Qarghan district and 17 villages in Andkhoi district, with the total amounts reaching three million afghanis a month.

"Taliban their own print power bills for every period and collect them from the electricity consumers under their control”, he said.

However, Zalmai Azizi, head of Civil Societyinfo-icon Network in Andkhoi district, said that the Taliban collected power bills based on DABS printed tariff papers.

Meanwhile, Eng. Sayed Abdul Hamid, DABS head for Faryab, told Pajhwok that Taliban collected power bills from 28,000 out of around 60,000 power consumers in Dawlatabad, Sherin Tagab, Khwaja Sabzposh and parts of Pashtonkot districts.

He said approximately 30 million afghanis ended up in Taliban pockets during each period of bills collection in the mentioned areas.

Sultan Mohammad Sanjar, chief of Andkohi district, said the Taliban would previously collect power bills in areas under their control in Andkhoi, Qarghan and Qaramqol districts but they now threatened electricity workers to also give them bills in areas under government’s control.

He said power bills of more than 10,000 consumers in the three districts went to the Taliban pockets and the group has recently threatened to death the DABS head to let them collect all electricity bills or he would be killed.

Sanjar asked the government to find a solution before the situation could worsen and urged the Taliban not to damage welfare projects.

The DABS main office in Kabulinfo-icon said they could not comment immediately on the issue.

The Taliban also did not respond to Pajhwok about the issue despite several attempts to contact them.

mds/ma

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