Male’ could face street light black out over unpaid electricity bill, city mayor claims

The city of Male’ could face its street lights being “switched off” should an outstanding MVR 3.9 million (US$ 254,569) electricity bill fail to be paid by December 27, Male’ City Council (MCC) Mayor ‘Maizan’ Ali Manik has said.

The outstanding payment owed to State Electricity Company Limited (STELCO) by the MCC threatens to leave all council owned properties and utilities –which includes street lights – without power, Manik today claimed (December 22).

Earlier this week, unpaid bills to telecommunication service provider Dhiraagu resulted in the MMC having its telephone and internet services disconnected by the company.

STELCO have since denied claims that they will cut the MCC’s power, but has stated that the company “cannot say what will happen if the bill remains unpaid”.

Speaking to Minivan News, Mayor Manik blamed the Finance Ministry for the lack of payment, claiming that the government body had failed to release the funds despite the MCC completing all relevant documents needed to do so.

“I sent a letter to the [Finance] Ministry last week following one the MCC received from STELCO saying they will cut our electricity if the bill is not paid.

“When I spoke with [Minister of Finance and Treasury] Abdulla Jihad yesterday, he gave me no reason as to why the payments had been delayed. He must have known about the bills because of all the letters we have sent him.

“He told me that both the STELCO and Dhiraagu bills will be paid tomorrow (December 23),” claimed Manik.

Finance Minister Abdulla Jihad and Economic Development Minister Ahmed Mohamed were not responding to calls from Minivan News at time of press.

MCC “long history” of debt

STELCO Media Co-ordinator Abdulla Nazir meanwhile said that MCC had a “long history” of outstanding payments, adding that the stated figure of MVR 3.9 million was only part of the overall debt owed to the company.

“STELCO has received no money so far. There are many months of outstanding debt from MCC, more than the MVR 3.9 million we have asked for.

“While we have received no statement or payment from the Finance Ministry, we have received a letter from MCC dated December 19. They said their bills have been sent to the Finance Ministry, and they have asked the ministry to settle the outstanding payments,” Nazir told Minivan News.

However, Nazir denied Manik’s claims that STELCO had warned the MCC it faced having electricity disconnected. However, in accordance to STELCO’s regulations, Nazir stated that any public or private organisation failing to pay its electricity bills was at risks of having its power cut off.

Dhiraagu debt

On Thursday (December 20), local media reported that Dhiraagu had disconnected all phone and internet services it provided to the MCC due to unpaid bills.

MCC member Ibrahim Shajau claimed that over MVR 400,000 (US$ 26,109) is owed by the council to Dhiraagu, alleging that the Finance Ministry had failed to release the funds.

“We have sent all relevant documents to Finance Ministry. It’s up to [them] to pay the money. Dhiraagu said that Finance Ministry had not paid the money,” he told Sun Online.

Dhiraagu Marketing and PR Ibrahim Imjad Jaleel told local media that the services were disconnected after advising the council on numerous occasions to pay their bills.

“We disconnected the services today after giving them time even today to pay the bills after the offices opened.  We had to cut off our services after their failure to pay any amount after several days of discussions. We are trying with our customer even now, to find a way to resume the services,” he said.

Earlier in October, STELCO disconnected the power supply to state broadcasters Television Maldives (TVM), Voice of Maldives (VOM) as well Male’ City Council over a failure to pay overdue bills.

MCC member Ibrahim Shujau told newspaper Haveeru back in October that the delay in settling the bill was again down to the Finance Minsitry.

STELCO permit dispute

STELCO and MCC clashed earlier this month when the electricity company filed a case with the Civil Court requesting it invalidate MCC’s decision to disallow issuing permits to the company.

In a statement released Wednesday (December 12), the state electricity provider stated that the lawsuit was filed because the MCC had blocked the company from providing some of its services, resulting in disruption for customers in the capital.

The disallowed permits are needed to provide electrical services to properties around the capital.

STELCO has argued that the MCC’s decision lacked any legal grounds and therefore requested the court to decide if the decision was valid or not. It also requested the court invalidate a letter sent to STELCO by the MCC informing it of the decision, so that it could resume its services.


8 thoughts on “Male’ could face street light black out over unpaid electricity bill, city mayor claims”

  1. How wonderful to see that the enemy regime has not the means or the skill to manage a country!

  2. The government always could take over STELCO and Dhiraagu, that would solve these problems.

  3. this city council job and their resources are used to promote MDP . So why does the state need to pay these bills?

    Even these idiots do not believe the Government and its constitution ?

  4. today the waste dump was closed by city council citing that one of its excavators had broken down. what kind of idiotic council closes a waste dump because an excavator breaks down ? in my opinion, the city council is deliberately doing this to infuriate the citizens of Male' city, and so as to make people protest against the current waheeds govt.

    on this note, lets list out the highlights of the major achievements of the city council so far this year.

    1. Fairlure to clean the gutters of the streets resulting in most streets being flooded every time it rains. we are supposed to swim now everytime it rains.

    2. waste being disposed all over the streets of male, and not enough staff and attention being diverted to this issue. garbage dumped under cars and pickups by expatriates.

    3. not diverting enough attention to solving the problem of waste disposal in Male trash dump, resulting in garbage piling up in the dump, and people dumping trash near the entrance of the trash dump. Continuously blaming the Finance Ministry for the city councils inefficiency every time a news reporter questions about why city council was not being able to do its job properly. (Male' citizens elected these city councillors to fart in their chairs all day, while the trash issue remains unresolved everyday).

    4. picking fights with mtcc and other govt companies that support waheeds govt, and disrupting mtcc's projects.

    5. blocking stelco from giving new electricity service connections to Male' citizens.

    6. picking fights with any govt minister who do not share their political view (labelled as baagees aaccording to them).

    7. privatising pre-schools of Male so that only the rich and wealthy can send their kids to pre-school, and poor families are unable to afford pre-school education.

    8. planning and executing major projects related to the development of Male' without consultation with Male' citizens and without consulting with government ministries, (T-jetty harbour zone businesses removal project). selling major plots of land to conspicious businesses under suspicious circustances.

    9. abandoning all work to developing Male' fish market, due to someone being the president who they do not approve (waheed).

    10. giving GMR permits to develop new terminal at airport without consulting with civil aviation authority, and transport authority of maldives, and with city council having no knowledge whatsoever about the steps and procedures involved in airport development.

    who is to blame for all this mess ? why the moronic citizens of male' who elected the city councillors ! no where else in the world do citizens elect uneducated and loud-mouthed people to such important posts, purely because of sharing political affiliation with the current ruling party.

    This is a lesson to all of Male' citizens who voted for candidates based on politics and without considering the educational qualifications or the individual capabilities of the candidate.

  5. This blackout will ensure that cameras or CCTV don't catch policemen batoning bikers to death. Smart thinking guys.

  6. @ Geronimooooo

    hey dumbo, how much money is the baghee government withholding from city councils budget.

  7. @ Barbarian

    According to Haveeru News, City council has been paid twice the amount that was paid to the council last year by Finance Ministry. In spite of that, the sitation this year, is twice as worse than last year.

    When President Nasheed was in power, and just after Maizaan Alibe assumed post of President of City council, Alibe once famously remarked that he would clean the Male' trash dump entirely, and he did do so, he cleaned up the entire area within three or four days.

    However, after MDP lost their presidency, council seems to appear under the impression that they do not have to do their jobs anymore. male City trash dump that took only a week to clean out entirely, now is always filled to the brink. City councils motto has changed from "We can do it", to "As long as the party we support isnt in power, we dont really care".

    I dont care much for any political party in the Maldives, but it seems to me, that any public service providing institutions who revert to various excuses and refrain from the tasks that they were elected to do so, should be voted out of office.

    And dude, im not Dumbo. Youre mistaking me for the elephant in the cartoon. Which im not.


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