Published on Tuesday, 10 September 2013 21:12
Although natural gas is explored in Rakhine and exported, locals still have to pay K460 per unit for electricity, sources say.
Authorities have so far refused to lower this rate, and locals are not happy with the situation.
“We are being charged prices that don’t exist anywhere else in Myanmar,” said Aung Soe, who lives in Sittwe. “The authorities made the private companies sell the electricity, and the companies are now trying to increase the unit price. But local residents didn’t accept their plan, so they kept silent about it. Now China has natural gas explored from our state, while the locals are still living in the dark.”
Pho Thi Cho company and Tawin Htoo company from Sittwe are selling the electricity. During the first week of August, the former company tried to raise the bill from K460 to K480, but local residents opposed the move. So the company continued charging the old price. Since then, opposition has been growing in Rakhine state. A petition will soon be submitted to President Thein Sein.
“Why are they charging us K460 per unit? It is incredibly unfair that our state has plenty of natural gas but we can’t enjoy the benefit. The government needs to deal with this as soon as possible,” said an elderly writer from Sittwe.
Moreover, Rakhine state locals thought the rate increase was intended to compensate for local residents who avoid paying for electricity charges. Analysts say that such unequal treatment can only delay the development of Rakhine state.
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