Pailin Property Owners Protest Spike in Power Bills

Following demonstrations by landlords and guesthouse owners against an electricity provider on the Thai-Cambodian border, government officials will inform protesters Thursday to pay their bills they claim have been inflated, local authorities said Wednesday.

About 100 people protested outside the MST company at Prum International checkpoint in Pailin province’s Sala Krao district last month over the allegedly inflated bills, which prompted an inspection of the company’s meters by the state-owned Electricite du Cambodge (EdC).

Pailin provincial governor Keurth Sothea said that a second protest was held Wednesday, attended by about 30 landlords and guesthouse owners.

“We ordered the company to let the EdC check the meters but there was no problem,” Mr. Sothea said. “They own guesthouses and rent out rooms, so they should know that when it is very hot they use a lot of air conditioning.”

According to Mr. Sothea, the electricity bills for the month of March doubled in comparison to January and February.

Ei Hoeun, provincial mines and energy department director, said Wednesday that a meeting would be held today to inform the property owners that they must pay their bills.

“Tomorrow we will order them to pay because the EdC have found no mistake from the company,” he said.

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