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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Power play over rubbish

Power play over rubbish

Since Cintri began its operations in Cambodia, many Phnom Penh residents

are being billed waste collection charges through their electricity bill.

What Cintri failed to realize is that not every household which gets a power connection

necessarily gets their garbage collected. Reasons for non-collection are multiple

and the very obvious one is the non-accessibility of Cintri waste collection trucks

into narrow lanes or poorly maintained roads. Consequently some people just rightly

refused to pay for services they never get.

For the past few months, the EDC staff, Cintri staff and the general public have

been confronting each other on this very issue.

Legally speaking, all EDC customers are only obliged to pay for their power consumption

as they have a written contract with the EDC to do so. At no point have the EDC consumers

agreed or been invited to enter into a legal binding agreement with Cintri to be

billed for garbage collection charges.

There were public announcements through the media that Cintri charges will be

levied with electricity bills, but surely this cannot be considered as a binding

contract.

Pascal Patrice, Cintri's Operations Manager, admitted the absence of such legal contractual

agreement between the public and Cintri but claimed that the company has a "written

authorization", a copy of which can be seen but not copied or given out to the

general public.

In Cambodia, only national directives issued through Royal Decree, Sub-Decree or

national assembly promulgated law can be taken as legally binding public notices.

To add more salt to the injury, Cintri is now issuing threatening notices to many

EDC customers to suspend power supply if those so called garbage collection or non-collection

charges (as it is the case for many residents of Phnom Penh) are not being paid.

Normal households will be asked to pay 80 cents per month whereas villas and mansions

will be asked to pay $5.00 per month. Why a medium size villa of 3 bedrooms would

be required to pay the same charges as a 15 bedroom mansion remains unanswered.

Has Cintri taken over the EDC? If this hasn't happened then surely Cintri does not

have the legal right to suspend EDC power supply to EDC consumers who have paid their

electricity in full.

- One of many unhapp - EDC customers!

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