Afghanistan, which has increased availability of power to 700 MW from a meager 30 MW during Taliban regime, is confident of providing access to power to most of its population by 2020.
With free flow of funds from various agencies, Afghanistan wants to study best practices and customer services followed by the AP Eastern Power Distribution Company to improve their system.
After a chat with Phoenix IT Solution Ltd Managing Director G. Murali Krishna, the seven-member team said they wanted to set benchmarking for billing, customer care, quality power supply and distribution.
Phoenix is also the technology partner for modernization of the power sector in Kabul. USAID is assisting Afghanistan in commercialization and management through the Kabul Electricity Service Improvement Program (KESIP). It is also assisting national electricity authority, Da Afghanistan Breshna Sherkat (DABS).
KESIP Chief of Party (COP) Art Sedestrom told The Hindu on Wednesday that their association with Phoenix would enable them to introduce best practices followed here in Kabul first and later replicate them in other parts of their country.
At present, power supply is done in Kabul and the other two big cities – Mazar-i-Sharif and Herat. Many depend on diesel generators. Half of 700 MW sourced by the Afghans is supplied from Uzbekistan.
“We want to increase the availability of power. We have adopted a vision to provide access to almost all by 2020 by sourcing 4,000 MW,” Mr. Tainton, a USAID contractor and commercial management advisor of KESIP, said.
At present, there is no proper billing system and no electricity Act in place. Power supply is available only in select areas. Due to rough mountainous terrains, the reach is limited.
Reforms Afghanistan wants to bring about reforms in the power sector in a phased manner by introducing SMS alerts, complaint tracking system and on-the-spot billing.
At present, 70 per cent of areas in Kabul have power supply. Sixty per cent of power available is consumed by four million consumers of Kabul out of a total population of 30 million. Power supply is extended to 30 per cent of the area.
USAID has committed $1.7 billion in the next two years for the energy sector of Afghanistan. It has invested $28 million in DABS to date and promised another $20 million in the next two years.
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