Blackouts hit Kabul as Taliban fails to pay power suppliers
There were multiple power outages across the Afghan capital Kabul and several other provinces once again on Wednesday. Electricity supply to the country from neighboring Uzbekistan was stopped due to "technical problems," Sputnik news agency reported citing a statement by Afghanistan's state power company Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS). Power cuts have been repeatedly reported across Afghanistan in recent days.
Working to resolve this issue soon, says DABS
The technical issues had emerged in the northern Afghan province of Baghlan, Sputnik reported. "The technical staff is working to resolve this issue as soon as possible," according to the statement from DABS.
What led to Afghanistan's power crisis?
Afghanistan imports nearly 80 percent of its entire power consumption from neighboring countries like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan. Taliban, which had seized Afghanistan in August, also inherited the state energy utility as well as its debts in that process. The new rulers, however, have failed to pay off the suppliers due to a lack of funds and a framework to collect money from customers.
DABS planning to sell off debtors' assets to pay bills
DABS is now planning to sell off the estates of its debtors in an attempt to pay the nearly $62 million in power bills to the Central Asian countries that supply electricity to it. Safiullah Ahmadzai, the acting head of the power body, has said the plan will be implemented. "We are convincing them not to do that (cut supply)...that they will get paid."
Former DABS chief warns of complete power cut-off in Kabul
Earlier, Daud Noorzai, a former chief of DABS, had said that electricity supply to Kabul could be completely cut off by winter if the Taliban did not pay the bills. "The consequences would be countrywide, but especially in Kabul. There will be blackout and it would bring Afghanistan back to the Dark Ages when it comes to power and to telecommunications," Noorzai had said.