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

  • Hong Kong firm done buying Coke Cambodia

    Swire Coca-Cola Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Hong Kong-listed Swire Pacific Ltd, on November 25 announced that it had completed the acquisition of The Coca-Cola Co’s bottling business in Cambodia, as part of its ambitions to expand into the Southeast Asian market. Swire Coca-Cola affirmed

  • Moody’s sets outlook rating to ‘negative’ for Cambodia

    US global rating agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc on November 15 announced that it downgraded Cambodia’s outlook from “stable” to “negative” and maintained its B2 local and foreign currency issuer ratings. “The negative outlook reflects a deteriorating external position as illustrated by the severe

  • Korean first lady paves way for ill boy’s surgery

    A 14-year-old boy with congenital heart disease who was lucky enough to meet with South Korean first lady Kim Keon-hee may get the chance of a lifetime and receive surgery and treatment at Asan Medical Center in Seoul, South Korea. After seeing his plight, many

  • Hun Sen’s Covid infection caused by ‘weakened antibody’ after summit

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said exhaustion from heavy workload before and during the recent ASEAN Summit may have led to him contracting Covid-19 due to his weakened immune system, while rejecting speculations that the infection was caused by leaders of some countries who did not

  • NagaWorld union leader arrested at airport after Australia trip

    Chhim Sithar, head of the Labour Rights Supported Union of Khmer Employees at NagaWorld integrated casino resort, was arrested on November 26 at Phnom Penh International Airport and placed in pre-trial detention after returning from a 12-day trip to Australia. Phnom Penh Municipal Court Investigating Judge

  • Kingdom’s rice crowned world’s No1

    Cambodia’s Phka Rumduol jasmine variety has been crowned the World’s Best Rice for the fifth time at the TRT (The Rice Trader) World Rice Conference in Phuket, Thailand on November 17, according to leaders of the Kingdom’s apex rice industry body. Phka Rumduol