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DABS to face crisis if 8b afs unpaid bills not cleared

DABS to face crisis if 8b afs unpaid bills not cleared

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Dec 11, 2019 - 19:14

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): Da Afghanistaninfo-icon Breshna Sherkat (DABS) on Monday said Talibaninfo-icon militants were collecting around 600 million afghanis in power bills annually from 32 districts of the country.

DABS officials told a press conference here that they would announce load-shedding timings in capital Kabul next week.

The officials said 350 workers of the power utility faced violence and five of them lost their lives during the last seven months.

They warned the power utility would plunge into economic crisis if unpaid bills amounting to 8 billion afghanis were not cleared.

Eight billion afghanis in unpaid bills

Eng. Amanullah Ghalib, DABS executive director, said their consumers defaulted on eight billion afghanis power bills. He said DABS economic situation would into crisis if the unpaid bills were not paid until 2020.

A number of consumers owed around 2.5 billion afghanis last year and six million afghanis this year, he said.

He added that the Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Defense owed 2.5 billion afghanis and the rest of the arrears related to other government organs, ordinary people and strongmen.

“We import 80 percent of electricity from our neighbors, we should pay them on time, otherwise we have to expose the defaulters,” he added.

DABS has previously published the list of its defaulters including government organs.

Jalaluddin Sayeed, a DABS supervisor, said they could no longer wait for consumers to pay their bills and people have to clear their arrears if they really wanted to use electricity.

Ahmad Farid, a resident of Kabul city, said, “There are reports that some powerful figures have not been paying their power bills amounting to millions of afghanis for years but their electricity is yet to be cut off. But ordinary people fail to pay the bill, the power utility cuts off their connections and fine them.”

Taliban collect 600 million afghanis from electricity

Eng. Amanullah Ghalib, DABS executive director, said Taliban collected 600 million afghanis from electricity service in 32 districts of five provinces including Faryab, Kunduz, Baghlan, Helmand and Herat in a year. He said DABS was unable to collect the bills in the mentioned areas.

Load-shedding schedule in Kabul

Ghalib said the power utility would announce load-shedding schedule in Kabul city next week.

Kabul residents currently avail electricity for less than 14 hours a day and they complain justice is not observed in distribution of power as some areas have access to the service for longer times compared to other areas.

Violence DABS officers face

Ghalib called current year the most challenging for DABS workers and said their workers faced 350 incidents of violence and five of the victims lost their lives.

He said the violence cases included beating, threatening and some detained by local people for several days.

The Taliban several times cut loose electricity cables this year, which was another challenge, he added.

mds/ma

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