Residents Protest for Electricity in Arakan’s Ma-ei

Ma-Ei: About 70 residents have taken to the streets to protest against the Electric Power Cooperation (EPC) on Saturday in Ma-ei Sub-Township in Taungup Township in southeastern Arakan State.

Such activities for 24 hour electricity campaign around Arakan emerge frequently.

“It has already been 47 days since the electricity was cut in Ma-ei. But the electric meters are increasing up to 3 – 4 units without electricity and we had to pay a bill of 2,700 to 2,800 Kyat per household for the last month to EPC. We are dissatisfied with this and have staged a protest against the EPC,” said one of the residents participating in the protest.

The resident said they marched to the EPC office in the town, but as its officials were away from the office, they had to proceed to the township administration office.

“We first staged a protest in front of the EPC office. As there was no official in the office, we marched to the township administration office and Adminstrator U Tun Soe Wai promised us that he would try to get electricity back by the 29th of this month,” he said.

The residents reportedly ended their protest after receiving promises of restored electricity from the administrator.

However, the resident said they would stage a protest again if the electricity is not restored as promised by the administrator. “We will continue our protest and we also have plans to continue our demands at the district level, state level, and even to the central level of the EPC if our demands are not met as promised by the administrator,” he said.

Ma-ei was recognized as a sub-township in 2004 and is situated some 45 miles away from the main town of Taungup. There are four residential wards with over 1,000 households in the town. It was learned that three out of four wards in the town have been suffering from a total power outage for nearly two months.