July 28, 2008

Afghanistan to Import Electricity Fro Tajikistan

Text of article in English, "200 MW electricity to be imported from Tajikistan", published by state-owned Afghan newspaper The Kabul Times on 26 July

About 200 MW of electricity will be transmitted from Tajikistan to Kabul and some provinces in the course of the line, an official said.

Ministry of water and power says Tajikistan used to export 8 MW to Konduz province and for Mazar-e Sharif was supplied by Uzbekistan.

One of the problems the Afghan government faces, is the hike in electricity price and the ministry of water and power believes it will leave negative impact on other neighbouring countries those who are ready to export power to Afghanistan.

"The price of imported power was one Afghani before but Tajik government recently decided to double this price," said deputy minister, Seddiq Eshan. "The government is discussing the issue with Tajik government."

The ministry of water and power believes that the problem of electricity shortage would be solved by extending power transmission line from Tajikistan and Kabul citizens would have no complaints in this connection.

Afghanistan faces the shortage of electricity now and only 20 per cent of the capital enjoys power that is mostly supplied to governmental organs.

The government says Iran supplies electricity to the western provinces.

The ministry of water and power reports that 90 per cent of electricity extend from Uzbekistan has been completed and Kabul citizens would enjoy 300mw power till mid-2009. The rest of necessary power would be imported from Tajikistan.

But the people still don't believe the government promise and as Mohammad Elyas says it is laughable to hear the completion of power projects and extension it to Kabul.

"The ministry of water and power has repeatedly promised to enlighten the city in a few months but we are still living in darkness," he said.

Ajab Gul, another Kabul citizen says electricity distribution is not normal in the city and the authorities only excuse water shortage in the dams.

Originally published by The Kabul Times, Kabul, in English 26 Jul 08.

(c) 2008 BBC Monitoring South Asia. Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning. All rights Reserved.