PUL-I-KHUMRI (Pajhwok): As many as 3,215 individuals and 200 government departments in northern Baghlan province owe nearly 542 million afghani in unpaid electricity bills to the Da Afghanistan BreshnaShirkat (DABS), Pajhwok Afghan News has reliably learnt.
Individuals defaulting on electricity bills include former military personnel, civil servants, public representatives, powerful individuals, tribal elders and common people.
According to available documents these individuals and 200 government departments owe a total to 541,999,192 afghani to DABS.
Documents show 2,871 military, civil servants, illegal armed persons, powerful individuals, lawmakers and some tribal elders from the previous government owe 16,591,520 afs in Baghlan.
In addition, 344 individuals owe 47,045,238 afs in electricity charges to DABS in the province.
Documents show provincial interior affairs department, defence department, jail affairs department default on bills amounting to 51,230,329l.
A total 200 government departments in Baghlan owe over 282 million afs to DABS.
Acting Head of DABS Mullah SardarWalliHamza confirmed that some government departments were defaulters and did not pay their electricity bills over the years.
“These individuals include former military and civil services personnel who did not pay their electricity bills.”
He said these people were powerful and had support within the government therefore they did not pay their bills.
A long list of these individuals which is available with Pajhwok Afghan News shows individuals defaulting on electricity bills are mostly former civil servants and military personnel.
Documents show Farhad, so of Habiburrahman who served as former Police Officer of one of Pul-e-Khumri Police Stations, owed over two million afs to DABS, DawlatHussain, son of former Deputy Baghlan Governor Muhauddin owed 262,783 afs to DABS.
Col. MohibullahNijrabi, a former Police Chief of Baghlan-e-Markarzi district owes 143,632 afs, illegal armed group Commander Maroza 194,847 afs to the power utility.
In addition, Baghlan-e-Markazi district Intelligence Directorate owes over 7 million afs, Baghlan Water Distribution Enterprise over 2.5 million, Provincial Council 312,000 afs, Baghlan Public Works Department 51,820 afs, ICSAR Department 65,115 afs, and the Doshi District Police Headquarters owes over 2 million in electricity charges to DABS.
A table provides complete list of other defaulters
Mullah SardarWaliHamza, acting director of Baghlan power utility, said that they had repeatedly sent a list of debtors to all security agencies in the province and DABS so they force the debtors to pay their bills.
He said that security agencies at the time did not fully cooperate with the power utility and did not force the debtors to pay their arrears.
Based on documents submitted to Pajhwok by Baghlan power utility, most of the debtors are former military officials who are no longer in the country.
Pajhwok tried to get the views of defaulters about the issue, but their contact numbers could not be found.
However, Mohammad Gul, who owes 178,413 afghanis in unpaid power bills in the province, said, “I am a defaulter, I do not deny it. But I don’t have the financial ability to pay it. ”
He said that he has tried several times to pay his electricity bills, but he was unable due to the past conflict and economic situation.
MulaviAsadullah Mustafa Hashimi, provincial information and culture director, said that Islamic Emirate had destroyed all islands of power in the country and there were no more powerful figures left.
There are no any activities of irresponsible militiamen in Afghanistan, particularly in Baghlan, and the local government will surely take government loans from strongmen.
“We will take government money from debtors whether they are officials, tyrants, illegal armed groups and tribal elders of the previous administration, or anyone else,” Hashemi said.
He called on all debtors of the government to voluntarily pay their debts so the government would not force them to clear their dues.
Hashemi acknowledged that government agencies were defaulting on power bills, but said that officials of the previous administration were engaged in corruption and non-payment of electricity bills was an example of that graft.
Baghlan provincial administration would ask all government agencies to clear their arrears, he said.
Documents obtained by Pajhwok show that the total cost of electricity for the months of September, October and November of this year was 92,922,739 afghanis in Baghlan and all the money had been collected and deposited to the government treasure.
Besides Baghlan, powerful individuals, government, military and civilian officials and others in capital Kabul and provinces also owe millions of afghanis in paid electricity bills.