Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Villagers protest hike in electricity expense

Villagers protest hike in electricity expense

Villagers protest hike in electricity expense

More than 60 villagers from Kampong Cham province’s Stung Trang district staged a protest on Monday at Arak Tnort commune hall, demanding answers for a massive price hike that has accompanied the installation of electricity meters ahead of a planned switchover to state-provided power.

Phan Phann, 58, Bek Antung village chief, told the Post yesterday that protesters were demanding a solution, as the new meters were racking up kilowatts at dizzying speeds.

“The meters move super fast, even when we’re not using electricity,” Phann said.

Private company Seng Try has been providing electricity to Bek Antung village for several years. The villagers claimed the price has sharply increased each year, rising nearly 10 cents per kilowatt-hour to 78 cents in the past two months alone.

“[Seng Try] increased the price and now the meters fly; they do not work normally,” Phann said.

A 62-year-old woman who declined to be named said many of the villagers are afraid to protest, fearing the company will shut off their electricity.

Authorities announced a few months ago that they will provide state-owned electricity starting in July, but the project has been stalled because installing the necessary electrical poles could potentially displace villagers in the area.

Commune chief Ros Vireth said he took 10 of the electrical meters to Electricite du Cambodge in Phnom Penh for examination yesterday.

“We had the meters checked and nothing is wrong with them. We suggest the villagers use them as normal,” he said.

The village’s old meters were replaced two months ago in order to handle the switchover to state-supplied power, and the price was set to decrease to 41 cents per kilowatt-hour, he added.

In order to keep up with the state-owned electricity, "the meters work somewhat faster. We will explain this to the villagers,” Vireth said.

During a protest last month in Kandal, protesters demanded state-owned electricity, claiming the private company they used charged much more than the state. Their protest was cut short when a commune chief told them the private company’s contract would end in just two years.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Full country reopening to be decided in two weeks

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has announced that if the Covid-19 situation remains stable for 15 consecutive days from the end of the October 5-7 Pchum Ben public holiday, Cambodia will reopen fully, albeit in the context of Covid-19 whereby people have to adjust their lives to

  • Phnom Penh governor: Show Covid-19 vaccination cards, or else

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng late on October 5 issued a directive requiring all people aged 18 and over and the parents of children aged 6-17 to produce Covid-19 vaccination cards when entering schools, markets, malls, marts, eateries and other business establishments that have been permitted

  • Will Evergrande change the way Chinese developers do business in Cambodia?

    China’s property sector policy has exposed the grim financial condition of real estate developers including those operating in Cambodia, which raises questions over the viability of their projects and business going forward The dark blue netting draping over one of Yuetai Group Co Ltd’

  • Cambodia seeks probe into 'false reports' on Hun Sen's alleged Cypriot passport

    Minister of Justice Koeut Rith on September 6 wrote a letter to his Cypriot counterpart Stephie Dracos requesting cooperation in investigating and providing the truth in relation to the "exaggerative and false allegations" that Prime Minister Hun Sen holds a Cypriot passport. In his letter, the

  • Cambodia sets new Covid-19 quarantine rules

    The government has modified Covid-19 quarantine requirements, shortening the duration for, among others, Cambodian officials, foreign diplomats and delegations, investors and inbound travellers in general. According to an official notice signed by Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng late on October 16, quarantine length for Cambodian

  • 'Pandora Papers' expose leaders' offshore millions

    More than a dozen heads of state and government, from Jordan to Azerbaijan, Kenya and the Czech Republic, have used offshore tax havens to hide assets worth hundreds of millions of dollars, according to a far-reaching new investigation by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (