Turkish quake victims stuck with hefty electric bills

Turkish quake victims stuck with hefty electric bills

VAN - Doğan News Agency
Turkish quake victims stuck with hefty electric bills

Quake victims staying in tents have been using electric heaters. DHA photo

Residents in the eastern province of Van suffered quite a shock after receiving enormous electricity bills, as they thought the service could be used free of charge after last year’s devastating earthquakes. 

“Citizens who thought their electricity was free of charge made heavy use of heaters. We had announced that electricity was free of charge only in [pre–fabricated homes] and tent cities. Unfortunately, citizens have to pay the sums on these bills,” said Zafer Türüt, director of the Turkish Electricity Distribution Company (TEDAŞ). 

Customers needed to pay their bills, but to aid them TEDAŞ announced that they could divide the payment into eight installments.

Residents have appealed to TEDAŞ, seeking a resolution to the matter but have failed to see results. Some residents were incensed by the bills they received, which ranged from 350 to 500 liras, because their homes had been vacant and tents were set up outside them, reports said. 

The Disaster and Emergency Presidency (AFAD) is currently paying for the electricity used in pre–fabricated homes and tent cities established in wake of the two earthquakes that struck the city in 2011. TEDAŞ receives about 1 million liras every day from AFAD in payments. 

Over 600 people lost their lives and thousands were rendered homeless in wake of a 7.2-magnitude quake that rocked the city of Van on Oct. 23, followed by another 5.6-magnitude temblor of on Nov. 9 and repeated aftershocks.