Kabul in blackout as government struggles to fix power lines

(MENAFN- The Peninsula) A man walks on a hilltop overlooking Kabul Afghanistan January 31 2016. Reuters/Ahmad Masood

KABUL: militants and bad weather innorthern Afghanistan have hampered efforts to repair power linesthat were destroyed last week cutting electricity in thecapital Kabul to about six hours a day officials said onMonday.

Insurgents last week destroyed an electricity pylon in theDand Shahabuddin district of Baghlan province that brought powerfrom Uzbekistan to meet almost half of Kabul's 600 megawatt

daily requirement.

Mirwais Alami chief commercial officer at Afghanistan'snational power company said repair crews had been unable to getclose to the power lines because of mines and the threat from

insurgents and said residents reported that more pylons had beenbrought down.

"Enemy forces have brought machine saws and have beencutting down electricity pylons" he said.

The Taliban has denied being responsible for bringing downthe power lines saying such tactics which hit ordinary peopledo not fit with their fight against the foreign-backedgovernment.

The destruction of the power lines has hit businesses andindustry and added further misery for Kabul's long-sufferingresidents already tested by a series of suicide bomb attacksthis year.

For the well-off with private generators the cuts havemeant higher fuel bills but for those who rely on the publicgrid they have meant dark nights and reliance on wood-burningstoves to fight the winter cold.

Abdul Satar Barez the provincial governor of Baghlan saidoperations to secure the area in order to allow repair crews towork on the pylons had been suspended due to fog and badweather.

"Taliban are still in the area they are a threat and dangerand we cannot launch our operation now. We are waiting for theweather to get better" he said.


The Peninsula

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