24 Ampere licenses for Damascus shops only, Citizens complain

A power generator in al-Sabki Park in Damascus - May 2023 (Friends of al-Sabki Park Association/Facebook)

A power generator in al-Sabki Park in Damascus - May 2023 (Friends of al-Sabki Park Association/Facebook)


While the electricity situation continues to deteriorate in Damascus, local media outlets confirmed that operating licenses for ampere generators have been granted to commercial shops only, while the regime intentionally refrains from providing ampere subscriptions to residential homes in the capital.

Director of Properties in Damascus governorate, Bashar al-Ashqar, told the local Athr Press news website, that the governorate has granted 24 generator licenses that cover markets in the neighborhoods of al-Qanawat, al-Mezzeh, al-Midan, al-Salihiyah, Dummar, New Sham, Bab Musalla, al-Fehameh, al-Sina’ah, al-Qaimariyah, al-Jisr al-Abyad, al-Tadamon, and Naher Aisheh.

Al-Ashqar added, on March 27, that Damascus city was divided into areas, and each area contains more than one point. For example, two ampere licenses were granted in al-Mezzeh, with the condition that the distance between the two points must be two kilometers.

Al-Ashqar also clarified that a fee for occupying public property was collected from the owners of the generators, according to the financial law of the administrative units, which is 2000 Syrian pounds per meter per day.

Abu Mansour, aged 56, from al-Zahira neighborhood in Damascus, expressed his dismay at the deliberate failure to provide residential homes with ampere subscriptions, allocating them only to commercial shops, saying, “You neither have mercy nor let God’s mercy descend upon us”, and he pointed out that the Ministry of Electricity does not attempt to improve the electricity situation for Syrians, and at the same time it prevents supplying homes with amperes in Damascus neighborhoods.

Abu Mansour adds: “I have been accustomed since I was young to take a shower every day, but the absence of electricity deprives me of that and causes me great inconvenience, since electricity only comes for a brief period that is insufficient to operate the bathroom heater, and at the same time, heating water using gas would be very costly.”

The Minister of Electricity, Ghassan al-Zamil, described the use of ampere generators as “illegal” in mid-2023, confirming that the ministry “will not legalize amperes now or in the future, and it is a phenomenon that will automatically end when the quantities of electricity return to what they were before.”

Damascus governorate announced earlier this year that it granted more than 20 investors licenses to install ampere generators within markets and commercial activities, denying rumors about their installation within homes and residential areas.

Executive Office member for the property sector in the Damascus governorate, Majd Hallak, told Athr Press local website, that “Amperes are designated for commercial activities only and have no link to residential homes. Any complaints we receive about amperes being installed in homes will be acted upon immediately, and a penalty will be imposed on the violator.”

7 Continuous hours of blackouts during Ramadan

Concurrently, the hours of electricity rationing in the capital Damascus have risen again, the local Al-Watan newspaper reported quoting an official at the Electricity Directorate of Damascus, that “the current rationing in Damascus is six hours cut for one hour of supply, due to the shortage of supplies coming to the directorate (about 320 megawatts daily), in addition to an increase in electrical loads during this period.”

The source added, on March 27, “We recently experienced a rationing period of less than five hours amid improved supplies, until the rationing returned to roughly six hours of disconnection.” He pointed out that “if we apply a rationing of four hours cut and two hours supply, we need more than 500 megawatts daily from the incoming quantities.”

The same source suggested that the electricity situation might improve after mid-April, in light of a decrease in pressure on the electricity network, which is also related to an increase in the quantities received by the Electricity Company of Damascus.

Despite repeated demands before the arrival of Ramadan to reduce the hours of power cuts during the fasting month, the reality of rationing has not changed but tended to worsen the closer to the Eid al-Fitr holiday.

Fatima, a 31-year-old housewife from al-Tijara neighborhood in Damascus, responded to statements transferred by Al-Watan newspaper, explaining that in her area, electricity is cut off for seven continuous hours and comes for less than an hour, and even during operational time, electricity is cut off several times.

Fatima spends all her time at home since she is a housewife, and therefore the continuous power outage caused her annoyance and psychological fatigue, to say, “Have mercy on us, we’re sick of living without electricity! It’s Ramadan.”

Cable theft increases rationing hours

The electricity official reported to Al-Watan newspaper, that the increase in power outage hours in some areas of Damascus is due to a rise in cases of cable theft, saying, “More than 25 incidents of copper cable theft were recorded, and theft gangs were apprehended, the most recent being last Tuesday in the areas of Masaken Barzeh and Bustan al-Dur.”

He explained that “the cost of thefts targeting electricity including cables, circuits, and copper joints are estimated to cost millions of pounds,” highlighting the follow-up of the electricity situation in the mentioned areas, including “the need to buy from the local market through merchants or purchase requests,” according to what the newspaper reported.

In May 2023, the governorate of Damascus started granting operating licenses for the ampere system to distribute electricity in a number of markets in the Syrian capital, in the absence of power for most hours of the day and night due to lengthy rationing hours.

Damascus countryside governorate had raised, in mid-February of the past year, the price of kilowatt-hour for amperes from 5200 to 7500 Syrian pounds, after a number of investors protested and considered the old price as unfair to them, while the governorate of Damascus refused to determine an official pricing for amperes, in order not to give a legitimate appearance to this phenomenon.

“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. 


النسخة العربية من المقال

Related Articles

  1. Damascus: Power rationing increases, ampere system expands
  2. Rif Dimashq: Official pricing for ampere generators in 2024
  3. Daraya: Power outages push residents towards ampere subscriptions
  4. Ampere generators settle in Damascus; Government lessens grip on private electricity

Propaganda distorts the truth and prolongs the war..

Syria needs free media.. We need your support to stay independent..

Support Enab Baladi..

$1 a month makes a difference..

Click here to support