Officials from the Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS) on Monday said their costs to maintain and repair electricity lines and pylons has increased dramatically against last year and called on the public to protect this national asset.
According to them, they have paid out about 450 million AFs this year against 250 million AFs last year.
The head of DABS, Amanullah Ghalib, did however state that their costs have increased along with the increase in the power network system through the country. He said a lot of this money did go towards repairing lines feeding the east and the south of Afghanistan.
Ghalib said the cost of repairing downed pylons and electricity lines is high and that they have faced many such issues this year.
According to Ghalib, in some parts of the country local powerful men try to participate in the installation of electricity cables and sometimes local people ask for money in order to let DABS employees connect disconnected lines on their land.
Ghalib also said this year DABS paid over eight million AFs to repair three pylons that collapsed in Kunduz province.
“There are problems in this regard. We cannot pay money to people every time cables are disconnected from pylons on their land,” Ghalib said.
Critics have meanwhile blasted members of the public that do this and said the power network and infrastructure is a national asset and that the people should protect them.
Economic analysts meanwhile say that in some parts of the country local powerful men see infrastructure as part of their ownincome source.
“Unfortunately, a number of power projects in the country have become an income source for powerful men and government cannot do anything in this respect,” Eraj Faqiri, a lecturer at the American University of Afghanistan said.
Based on DABS information, it costs about $200,000 to repair every downed pylon.