Kompong Cham Families Petition For Reduced Electricity Prices

Nearly 900 Kompong Cham province families have thumb-printed a petition asking the governor to help reduce the price of electricity, a villagers’ representative and NGO worker said Tuesday.

The petition has amassed thumb­prints from 873 families in 22 villages living in Suong town and was submitted to Provincial Governor Hun Neng on Thursday, Chheng Sophal, a villagers’ representative, said Tuesday by telephone. The pet­ition demands that private supplier, Suong Electric Company, which pro­vides power locally from a Viet­namese line, drop its price from 1,300 riel per kilowatt-hour to 900 riel.

“Before, we stayed quiet be­cause we did business well; now the economy is bad and we don’t do good business,” Mr Sophal said, adding that his grocery store inside the town market sees few customers.

“There are not many buyers. It is the same for everyone, the sales are not good,” Mr Sophal said.

Mr Sophal added that a provincial official, whose name and title he could not recall, had told him that the supplier could not reduce the price because the company already buys the electricity from Vietnam at a price between 800 riel to 900 riel per kilowatt.

Local rights group Adhoc helped villagers file the complaint with the governor, said provincial investigator Sim Heang.

Mr Heang said that villagers have only demanded prices equal to those paid in Kompong Cham town. The provincial capital is supplied by state-owned utility Elec­tricite du Cambodge.

Dy Vandith, a technician at Suong Electricity Company, said Tuesday by telephone that 1,300 riel is a good price, before referring questions to the company’s owner Kuy Suor. Mr Vandith said that he didn’t have his boss’ contact information.

A man answering Governor Neng’s phone said that he was too busy to speak to a reporter. Deputy Provincial Governor Lun Limthay said that he had not seen the complaint and declined to comment.



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