Nay Pyi Taw residents complain of lack of electricity
TENS of thousands of residents within miles of the nation’s capital are deprived of electricity, even though power lines have been connected, parliament has heard. Amyotha Hluttaw MP U Kyaw Myint Oo (NLD; Mandalay 10) said many complaints had been received from the public about the power supply committees in the villages in Nay Pyi Taw’s Union territory.
About 708 of the 796 villages in the territory have electricity, including about 500 villages that have made their own power supply arrangements. But nearly half the village residents – about 40,000 out of 90,000 households – receive no electricity because they cannot pay the bills.
U Kyaw Myint Oo said a system of payment by instalments should be introduced so that residents could afford power.
“Everybody would have electricity if they could pay at the rate of K10,000 or K20,000 a month,” he said, calling on the power supply committees to be more transparent. “The committees were set up for the precise purpose of supplying electricity, but they’re going about this all wrong,” he said.
The MP said that a lawsuit between Pyinmana villagers and the local power supply committee had been going on for three years, and there was no resolution in sight despite 49 court hearings. It was time for the government to step in, he said.
“The ministry initially allowed the committee to charge K70 a unit during the two-year installation period. But that two years is over now and they’re still charging the same rate, even though the ministry standard is K35.
“They could at least spend the profits on putting up lamp posts and other infrastructure, but they decided to spend it on flood relief and other things as they chose. We’ve received no reports about this,” U Htin Aung Kyaw, a resident of Zee Phyu Bin village, said.
Villagers have a choice between three tariffs to sign on to the electricity plan and get hooked up to the grid: K500,000, K300,000 and K150,000. Households unable to pay receive no electricity. Others have paid, but receive no power because their neighbours cannot pay.
“We do not have electricity because the households around us cannot afford to pay the bills. There are no lamp posts. If you want electricity, you have to erect the lamp post with your own money,” U Htin Aung Kyaw told The Myanmar Times.
Though it has served as the nation’s purpose-built capital since 2005, much of the Nay Pyi Taw Union Territory remains rural and underdeveloped.
Nationwide, Myanmar’s 2014 census found that just under one-third of the country used electricity for its main source of lighting.
– Translation by San Layy