Power restored to Afghan capital Kabul after weeks of blackout

KABUL - Afghanistan's national power utility has restored electricity to the capital Kabul, almost a month after insurgents cut lines from neighboring Uzbekistan that supplied almost half of the city's 600 megawatt daily requirement, officials said.
Mirwais Alami, chief commercial officer at Afghanistan's national power company, said that power supplies were reconnected on Monday evening after technicians repaired pylons in the Dand Shahabuddin district of Baghlan province destroyed at the end of January.
For weeks, residents in Kabul without access to expensive private generators have endured winter cold and darkness with only patchy electricity supplies, fueling public anger and putting growing pressure on the U.S.-backed government.
Officials said bad weather and the need to ensure security for maintenance teams in the far north of the country, where the Taliban controls many areas outside the main towns, had hampered efforts to restore the lines.
Alami said that one electricity pylon had been destroyed and two others were damaged by mechanical saws.
"Kabul electricity was connected back on Monday and now the problem is over," Alami said.
He appealed to all sides not to destroy infrastructure that serves the entire country.
"We are a non-political company and we serve the nation, so we ask all relevant sides not to damage our pylons and installations," he said.
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