Nangarhar Govt Bodies Owe $20m Electricity Bills

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Many government organisations in eastern Nangarhar province owe a combined $20 million to the state-owned electricity provider Breshna, the provincial office of the power administrator said Tuesday.

Head of Nangarhar electricity department Muhibrahman Momand told TOLOnews most of these organisations have not been paying their bills over the years, with only the departments of communications, public work, and rural development up to date with their bills, while a few more have given assurances they will pay their debts soon.

"Some of the administrations who still have balances owing to us have paid to some extent, some others have cleared it, but some of them are not concerned at all," Momand said.

According to the electricity department's figures, Jalalabad Municipality owes more than $2 million, Kanal - an agricultural site - owes more than $9 million, and public health more than $400,000 dollars to Breshna.

"Those administrations who haven't paid their electricity bills use more power, but their allocated power share is less [than what they're using]," Momand added.

Provincial governor Gul Agha Shirzai has asked the heads of the administrations across the province to clear their debts to Breshna, his spokesman Ahmed Zia Abdulzai said.

Admitting that the provincial government office itself owes some money to Breshna, Abdulzai said it will pay the bills very soon.

Kanal claims that its $9 million bill includes use of nearby residents for their personal power needs.

Head of Kanal said that the Daronta water dam was built to provide Kanal's electricity and its surplus is to be given to residents, but the residents' use is included in the administration's electricity meter, adding to Kanal's bill.

Kanal has called on the government to resolve the issue.

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