People of Aleppo cancel their ampere subscriptions due to their high costs

Employees of the Syrian Ministry of Electricity carrying out repairs to the electrical system in the northern governorate of Aleppo- 18 March 2021 (The Syrian Ministry of Electricity Facebook page)

Employees of the Syrian Ministry of Electricity carrying out repairs to the electrical system in the northern governorate of Aleppo- 18 March 2021 (The Syrian Ministry of Electricity Facebook page)

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Aleppo – Saber al-Halabi

Mustafa, a 38-year-resident of Achrafieh district, cancelled his ampere battery subscription because of its high cost. 

Recently, the ampere subscription fees have considerably increased  in the Autonomous Administration’s areas of influence in Aleppo due to the rising fuel prices. 

In fact, fuel prices increased because the 4th Armored Division seized oil tank trucks coming from the Autonomous Administration-held areas in northeastern Syria to its areas of control in Aleppo a few days ago.  

Mustafa, who requested his surname be withheld for security reasons, told Enab Baladi that those providing ampere electrical services could not comply with their official prices. They said that they have to make up for the financial losses sustained due to the high fuel prices and constant breakdowns of generators. (Ampere is the name used by locals to refer to electric generators). It is noteworthy that the replacement parts of generators have become extremely expensive as well. The subscription fee must cover all these costs, said Mustafa.

The weekly subscription fee rose from 2,000 SYP (about 62 cents)to 4,500 SYP (2 USD).

The average price of the US dollar is about 3,200 SYP on the black market, while its official price amounts to 2,512 pounds.

The rising cost of the ampere subscriptions aroused resentment among citizens residing in the areas controlled by the Autonomous Administration in Aleppo, prompting them to unsubscribe from the service. They can no longer afford it amid these deteriorating living conditions. 

Following the restrictions imposed by the Syrian regime on the entry of fuel into the areas controlled by the Autonomous Administration in Aleppo, the municipal administration of the Autonomous Administration raised the price of a barrel of diesel to 450,000 Syrian Pounds( SYP-about 130 USD) after it was sold at 87,000 pounds (about 25 USD). This cost includes the transportation charges.

Generator owners charge their prices

The Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood municipality orders that generators’ owners charge their customers 3,000 SYP (about one dollar) when operating generators at night, while it imposed on generator owners that the price of ampere subscription is 4,500 pounds per week, in return for providing the service for six hours a day, from 7 pm to 12 am.

However, the owners continue to ignore price regulations set by the Sheikh Maqsood neighborhood’s municipality because they have to cover the costs of the frequent malfunctions of the generators in addition to the doubling of the fuel price, said Muhammad, the owner of an electric generator in the neighborhood under the control of the Autonomous Administration.

Muhammad also told Enab Baladi that people started to cancel their ampere subscriptions in light of the deteriorating living conditions.

Sometimes two families subscribe to one ampere to afford its subscription fee. 

Ampere is the name used by Syrian people to refer to electric generators in Syria. As a result of repeated power outages across various regions in Syria, many people depend on generators, which convert fuel into electrical energy. The ampere subscription fees are affected by the diesel prices because people depend on diesel to run their generators. 

Why did diesel prices go up?

The 4th Armored Division-run checkpoints deployed on the outskirts of Manbij city, in the eastern countryside of Aleppo, prevented nearly 110 oil tank trucks coming from the Autonomous Administration-held areas in northeastern Syria from reaching the administration held-areas in Aleppo. 

The fuel tanks were seized because the Autonomous Administration did not provide the agreed fuel quantities to the Syrian regime’s 4th Armored Division, which controls the roads linking the Autonomous Administration areas in northeastern Syria with the northern countryside of Aleppo and the areas within the city of Aleppo.

The Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the military wing of the Autonomous Administration, supplies the areas under its control in Aleppo with fuel from the oil fields it controls east of the Euphrates in the Jazirah region.

The Autonomous Administration has controlled the neighborhoods of Sheikh Maqsood, Achrafieh, and al-Sakan Al-Shababi on  Aleppo’s Castello road since 2013.

The neighborhoods of Baaidin, al-Halk, al-Haydariya, Sheikh Khidr, Bustan al-Basha, and Karm el-Zaytounat–the SDF entered these neighborhoods after the opposition factions left the city of Aleppo at the end of 2016–were handed over to the Syrian regime forces in return for their support to repel Operation Olive Branch launched by the Turkish forces on Afrin in March 2018.

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