Inability to collect payment for water led to huge debt: Azersu

Azerbaijan, Baku, Feb. 11 / Trend , S.Babayeva/

There are several reasons for the Azersu company's hefty debt to Sumgayitelektrikshabaka, Azersu Information and Public Relations Department head Agshin Rustamov said.

"The debt was caused by the inability to collect payment for water used by consumers, even though the price for one cubic meter of water [0.18 manat] is much lower than in many countries. Most of our problems are with private homes with gardens. Their numbers increase each year," Rustamov said.

Azersu and Sumgayitelektrikshabaka signed an agreement in 2008. The water-supply company pays 350,000-400,000 manat monthly, Rustamov said.

Azersu paid 4.2 million manat to Sumgayitelektrikshabaka in 2008, 1.4 million manat in 2007, 131,700 manat in January 2008, and 415,100 manat in January 2009.

As a result of organizational and technical activities implemented in 2008, water payment collection increased to 67.6 percent across the country and 46.7 percent among individual households.

Individual households account for over 80 percent of water consumers in Azerbaijan.

"We have to pay monthly salaries to employees, make transfers to the budget and Social Protection State Fund, buy chemicals for water treatment," Rustamov said.

Azersu pumps water to up to 70 percent of the population in Sumgayit and Baku's Binagadi district. The pumps are located in the Jeyranbatan water reservoir.

"It is immensely important to pay off the debt to Sumgayitelektrikshabaka," Rustamov said.

Sumgayitelektrikshabaka plans to cut energy supplies to Azersu's pumps until the debt is paid.

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