Installation of Communal Meters Will Cost Too Much for Villagers in the Kartli Region
Most villages in the Gori district have been cut off of electricity since January 15. Officials of the Gori District Power Company said that the subscriber who did not pay the bill until January 15 was cut off of electricity.
Officially, the tax on electricity is 13-15 tetri per kilowatt. However, people from the Gori District do not have the same fee. For example, in the village of Kvakhvreli, the fee for electricity amounts to 20-26 tetri per kilowatt.
Eliko Miruashvili, a resident from Kvakhvreli said “We have been living in this situation for several months already. It does not make any difference whether you have spent the electricity economically or not, you have to pay more than its official price. Mostly, I use 80 kilowatts per month. Despite that, they raise the fee every month. Initially I paid 13 tetri for a kilowatt, the next month I paid 16 tetri, then 19 tetri and in January they told me to pay 26 tetri for a kilowatt. I think, very soon we might pay a lari for a kilowatt of electricity.”
The same situation is happening in the village of Uflistsikhe in the Gori district. The population lives in a vague situation and they do not know who to appeal to regarding their problems. Representatives of the Power Company count the bills for subscribers and then cut off the electricity. They order the villagers to collect money and leave the village. Villages do not have chairmen of the village councils and no other responsible people are assigned to handle the situation in the villages.
Officials from the Power Company said that communal meters work in the villages and they believe that the system has succeeded. However, the population does not agree with them and thinks that the installation of the communal meters has not been a success.
“The Power Company does not have representatives to the villages. The system of money collecting does not work. The population should collect the money. The problem is that there is one communal meter in the middle of the village and it shows how much electricity was used by fifty families a month. Then we calculate the total bill and tell those fifty families how much they have to pay at that time. Unless 100% of the bill is paid, the electricity is not supplied to the village. If they have a family among those fifty families who steals the electricity, other neighbors should guess their identity,” said the official from the company.
The villagers say that the figures, shown by individual meters differ from the total figure shown by the common meter for the fifty families.
“It is a fact that our individual meters show much less than the common meter. Nobody knows whether the individual and common meters work properly in the village. These meters were made during the Soviet Regime. They would rather think about installing modern meters. Nobody cares about our problems and it will not be soon resolved. While we have these old fashioned meters it would be easier to steal money from the population,” said villagers from Kvakhvreli and Uflistsikhe.
In fact, the population pays double for electricity; however, they always owe some money to the power company. People doubt that the power company makes them pay double in order to cover the bills for the street lights.
“Days pass and we do not travel to the city to see the street lights. Let the Gori dwellers pay that money and let them leave us alone,” said the villagers.
Saba Tsitsikashvili, Gori
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