Cables carrying electricity from the Kajaki hydro power plant to Kandahar City and Lashkargah were repaired on Friday, about one and a half months later they were cut off during clashes between security forces and militants in the Sangin district of southern Helmand province.
Kandahar power department official Amanullah Ayub Farooqi told Pajhwok Afghan News they had been trying to repair the severed transmission lines over the past one and a half months but insecurity and clashes prevented them from doing so.
Finally, he said, they had been able to repair the cables in the Sarwan area of Sangin, the scene of massive clashes between security forces and hundreds of insurgents.
He said the cables had been cut by unknown gunmen and it was for a third time they had repaired the cables, restoring power supply to Kandahar City and Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand.
Farooqi said the lines had been cut at more than 15 points and hundreds of metres of cables had been stolen, leaving residents of Kandahar City to observe fasting during the holy month of Ramadan without electricity despite hot weather.
During the period, they attempted to repair the broken lines many times, but a senior official, Haji Mohammad Nabi, who was responsible for maintenance of the power transmission lines from the Kajaki dam to Lashkargah and Kandahar City, was killed in a roadside bomb attack.
Farooqi said they were using different means to protect the lines in order to ensure uninterrupted power supply to residents.
After the cables were cut into Kandahar City, residents availed electricity for two to three hours in 48 hours and the supply period is expected to increase.
A resident of Kabul Shahi area of Kandahar City, Izzatullah, said residents spent the entire month of Ramadan without electricity at a time when it was 38 degrees Celsius.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News people had to face a lot of problems due to scorching heat in the absence of water.
Happy with the restoration of power supply, the resident urged insurgents avoid creating problems for local residents by damaging power supply lines.
Kandahar needs 150 megawatts, but the province is supplied 27 MW only when there is no problem in the turbines and generators installed at the Kajaki hydropower dam.
The electricity supplied to Kandahar is insufficient to cater to the needs of about two million people living in the province. Residents say they want a permanent solution to the problem.