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Electricity Being Rationed In Some Tajik Provinces

DUSHANBE -- Tajikistan has introduced electricity rationing in some of its provinces after a major blackout in the country, RFE/RL's Tajik Service reports.

Nozirjon Yodgori, an official with the state electricity company Barqi Tojik, told RFE/RL that the country's electricity-distribution system is now operating independently from the unified Central Asian power grid.

He said all the energy currently being distributed by the new system is produced in Tajikistan.

Yodgori added that the Tajik capital, Dushanbe, and the provincial capitals will be provided with electricity without limitations but that only seven hours of electricity will be available in remote parts of the central and southern provinces.

Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan have accused Tajikistan of siphoning off more electricity from the unified Central Asian grid than it has been alotted.

Uzbek officials said recently that they will begin charging neighboring countries for the transit of power through their territory, which could complicate an electricity deal between Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

Turkmenistan, which usually transports its electricity to Tajikistan via Uzbek territory, has agreed to supply power-starved Tajikistan with some 1 billion kilowatts per hour of electricity this fall and winter.